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Re: Ancient Philosophy And Programming Languages

by japhy (Canon)
on May 01, 2004 at 14:23 UTC ( #349612=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Ancient Philosophy And Programming Languages

Very interesting. I'm curious (and I'm being serious) if you have any thoughts as to how philosophers might have distinguished or defined in general terms the concepts of functional, imperative, procedural, etc. languages.
_____________________________________________________
Jeff[japhy]Pinyan: Perl, regex, and perl hacker, who'd like a job (NYC-area)
s++=END;++y(;-P)}y js++=;shajsj<++y(p-q)}?print:??;
  • Comment on Re: Ancient Philosophy And Programming Languages

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Re: Re: Ancient Philosophy And Programming Languages
by cyocum (Curate) on May 01, 2004 at 15:07 UTC

    This is an extremely good question. I had not given any thought to how they would distinguish between the different types of programming language. I tried to come up with a quick answer but I do not have one. I am going to think about this and try to write a follow-up node on this thread. I just wanted to get back to you so that you knew that I was not ignoring you. Thanks for this excellent question and I am sorry that I could not come up with anything right away.

      No rush. Philosophers didn't have all the answers right away either; they spent their time finding them.

      As a starting point for you (and other readers), I direct you to WikiPedia's entry on programming paradigms, which lists, among others: structured, imperative, procedural, functional, object-oriented, and event-driven.

      _____________________________________________________
      Jeff[japhy]Pinyan: Perl, regex, and perl hacker, who'd like a job (NYC-area)
      s++=END;++y(;-P)}y js++=;shajsj<++y(p-q)}?print:??;
Re: Re: Ancient Philosophy And Programming Languages
by chanio (Priest) on May 01, 2004 at 16:22 UTC
    Yes, I think that non-imperative languages might be real Platonic things.

    I see these things like working with spreadsheet cells. You put formulas in them and then you get a result in the spreadsheet as a whole.

    .{\('v')/}
    _`(___)' __________________________
Re: Re: Ancient Philosophy And Programming Languages
by skillet-thief (Friar) on May 03, 2004 at 09:53 UTC

    Though this isn't classical philosophy, you might look at some of the modern "analytic" philosophers who have thought a lot about language itself. For Wittgenstein, for example, words don't have any intrinsic meaning, but are just ways of getting something done, provoking a certain kind of reaction. If you are in a place where you don't understand the langage, but you see people saying "I'll take a cheeseburger" and getting cheeseburgers, you don't have to understand the words, you just have to be able to make the sounds to get the results you want in that particular situation.

    You could compare this view of language (perhaps) to the "black box" in functional and OO programing. You don't need to know what a function "means", you just have to know when and how to use it to get the results you want.

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