PhilSci Archive

The ghost in the machine: Metaphors of the ‘virtual’ and the ‘artificial’ in post-WW2 computer science

Wilson, Joseph (2024) The ghost in the machine: Metaphors of the ‘virtual’ and the ‘artificial’ in post-WW2 computer science. In: UNSPECIFIED.

[img]
Preview
Text
06-Wilson.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (360kB) | Preview

Abstract

Metaphors that compare the computer to a human brain are common in computer science and can be traced back to a fertile period of research that unfolded after the Second World War. To conceptualize the emerging ‘intelligent’ properties of computing machines, researchers of the era created a series of virtual objects that served as interpretive devices for representing the immaterial functions of the computer. This paper analyses the use of the terms artificial and virtual in scientific papers, textbooks, and popular articles of the time, and examines how, together, they shaped models in computer science used to conceptualize computer processes.


Export/Citation: EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII/Text Citation (Chicago) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
Social Networking:
Share |

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Wilson, Joseph
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Computer Science
Specific Sciences > Artificial Intelligence
General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
General Issues > Models and Idealization
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
Depositing User: Unnamed user with email m.zichert@tu-berlin.de
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2024 09:17
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2024 09:17
Item ID: 23040
Official URL: https://direct.mit.edu/posc/article-abstract/doi/1...
DOI or Unique Handle: https://doi.org/10.1162/posc_a_00611
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Computer Science
Specific Sciences > Artificial Intelligence
General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
General Issues > Models and Idealization
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
Date: 2024
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/23040

Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Monthly Downloads for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Altmetric.com

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item