Computing and experiments

Viola Schiaffonati, Mario Verdicchio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The question about the scientific nature of computing has been widely debated with no universal consensus reached about its disciplinary status. Positions vary from acknowledging computing as the science of computers to defining it as a synthetic engineering discipline. In this paper, we aim at discussing the nature of computing from a methodological perspective. We consider, in particular, the nature and role of experiments in this field, whether they can be considered close to the traditional experimental scientific method or, instead, they possess peculiar and unique features. We argue that this experimental perspective should be taken into account when discussing the status of computing. We critically survey how the experimental method has been conceived and applied in computing, and some open issues that could be tackled with the aid of the history of science, the philosophy of science, and the philosophy of technology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)359-376
Number of pages18
JournalPhilosophy & Technology
Issue number3
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Aug 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • computing
  • computer science and engineering
  • experiments
  • experimental method


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