Journal for General Philosophy of Science

, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 85–113

Towards a Philosophy of Software Development: 40 Years after the Birth of Software Engineering

  • Mandy Northover
  • Derrick G. Kourie
  • Andrew Boake
  • Stefan Gruner
  • Alan Northover
Discussion

Abstract

Over the past four decades, software engineering has emerged as a discipline in its own right, though it has roots both in computer science and in classical engineering. Its philosophical foundations and premises are not yet well understood. In recent times, members of the software engineering community have started to search for such foundations. In particular, the philosophies of Kuhn and Popper have been used by philosophically-minded software engineers in search of a deeper understanding of their discipline. It seems, however, that professional philosophers of science are not yet aware of this new discourse within the field of software engineering. Therefore, this article aims to reflect critically upon recent software engineers’ attempts towards a philosophy of software engineering and to introduce our own philosophical thoughts in this context. Finally, we invite the professional philosophers of science to participate in this interesting new discourse.

Keywords

Philosophy of technology Philosophy of software development Software science versus software engineering Development process Change Evolution Revolution Paradigm shift Popper Kuhn Feyerabend 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mandy Northover
    • 1
  • Derrick G. Kourie
    • 1
  • Andrew Boake
    • 1
  • Stefan Gruner
    • 1
  • Alan Northover
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of PretoriaPretoriaRepublic of South Africa
  2. 2.Department of EnglishUniversity of PretoriaPretoriaRepublic of South Africa

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