Hermeneutics and computer science [was off-topic, now back on]

alex23 wuwei23 at gmail.com
Fri Sep 30 07:54:43 CEST 2011


On Sep 30, 2:34 pm, Steven D'Aprano <steve
+comp.lang.pyt... at pearwood.info> wrote:
> alex23 wrote:
> > I'm slowly seeing more and more interest in applying
> > a discipline that arose out of the
> > study of religious texts.
>
> Tell us more, please.

Well, it's mostly from real world discussions and may actually be an
artefact of my holding degrees in both philosophy & computer
science :)  But googling "hermeneutics computer science" does bring up
a heap of entries, although the highest ranked is from 1979, so I may
have oversold the idea of it being a growing interest.

Amazon also shows that there have been a number of publications
dealing with this:
http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&keywords=Hermeneutics.&rh=n%3A3508%2Ck%3AHermeneutics.

For me, the main aspect of hermeneutics that could apply here - to
programming especially - is the concept that reading a text informs
you for subsequently reinterpreting the text (the "hermeneutic circle"
of Heidegger). No philosophical notion of truth is needed to explain
this, I see much in common with iterative development processes.
Multiplicity of perspective is similarly important in interpretation:
again, computer systems are developed with many user roles and thus
many 'views' of what is happening.

In the interest of fair play, if anyone still smarting at my flippancy
wants to take a swing at my belief system, it's mostly cobbled
together from Nietzsche, Wittgenstein & Crowley. Personal email
preferably, let's keep it off the list unless its particularly witty :)



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