CSE/PHI 4/584, Spring 2007

What Is a Computer?

Last Update: 28 January 2007

Note: NEW or UPDATED material is highlighted

  1. A Very Brief History of Computers

  2. Smith, Adam (1776), passage on the division of labor, from The Wealth of Nations.

  3. O'Connor, J.J., & Robertson, E.F. (1997), "Gaspard Clair François Marie Riche de Prony"

  4. Charles Babbage websites:

  5. Joyce, David E. (1997), "The Mathematical Problems of David Hilbert"

  6. Simon, Herbert A., & Newell, Allen (1958), "Heuristic Problem Solving: The Next Advance in Operations Research", Operations Research 6(1) (January-February): 1-10.

  7. Davis, Martin (1987), "Mathematical Logic and the Origin of Modern Computers" [PDF], Studies in the History of Mathematics

  8. Searle, John R. (1990), "Is the Brain a Digital Computer?", Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 64: 21-37.

      Some reactions:

    1. Piccinini, Gualtiero (2003), "The Mind as Neural Software: Functionalism, Computationalism, and Computational Functionalism", paper read at the APA Pacific Division (March 2004).

    2. NEW
      Rapaport, William J. (in press), "Searle on Brains as Computers", American Philosophical Association Newsletter on Computers and Philosophy.

  9. Chalmers, David (1993), "A Computational Foundation for the Study of Cognition".

  10. Robinson, J.Alan (1994), "Logic, Computers, Turing, and von Neumann" [PDF], in K. Furukawa; D. Michie; & Muggleton, S. (eds.), Machine Intelligence 13: Machine Intelligence and Inductive Learning (Oxford: Clarendon Press): 1-35.

  11. Hoyle, Michelle A. (1994-2003), "The History of Computing Science"

  12. Lee, J.A.N. (1995-2002), "The History of Computing"

  13. Hayes, Patrick J. (1997), "What Is a Computer? An Electronic Discussion", Monist 80(3).

  14. Maxfield & Montrose Interactive, Inc. (1997-1998), A History of Computers

  15. Floridi, Luciano (1999), Philosophy and Computing: An Introduction (London: Routledge), Ch. 2: "The Digital Workshop".

  16. Shagrir, Oron (1999), "What Is Computer Science About?" [PDF], The Monist 82(1): 131-149.

  17. Davis, Martin (2000), "Introduction" to The Universal Computer (New York: W.W. Norton).

  18. Johnson, Mark (2002), Review of Martin Davis's The Universal Computer: The Road from Leibniz to Turing.

  19. Computer History Museum (2003)

  20. Copeland, B. Jack (2004), "Computation", in Luciano Floridi (ed.), The Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of Computing and Information (Malden, MA: Blackwell).

  21. Hitmill.com (2004), History of Computers

  22. Ensmenger, Nathan (2004), "Bits of History: Review of A.R. Burks's Who Invented the Computer? The Legal Battle that Changed Computing History", in American Scientist 91 (September-October): 467-468.

  23. O'Connor, J.J., & Robertson, E.F. (2004), "The MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive"

Copyright © 2004-2007 by William J. Rapaport ( rapaport@cse.buffalo.edu)
file: 584/S07/whatisacomputer-20070128.html