class="csc-frame csc-frame-default"Does knowledge represent anything?

Zentrum Geschichte des Wissens

Universität Zürich

Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich

Zentrum Geschichte des Wissens

Universität Zürich

Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich

SAMUEL HUNZIKER

Typing Errors: The Coarticulation of Types, Errors, and Programming Languages between the 1970s and 1990s


The project investigates the place of programming errors in the history of knowledge. More specifically, it will investigate the much debated strategy to prevent them through the use of so-called types, which play an increasingly important role in discussions surrounding the merits of particular programming languages. Put simply, types are a means to classify the components of a program in order to automatically enforce that they are used as prescribed. It is claimed that types are of both theoretical interest, revealing epistemologically deep interconnections between programming and the foundations mathematics, as well as practical usefulness, forming, among other things, the backbone of powerful techniques for the automatic detection and prevention of errors. Despite these claims, their practical merits are a continuous source of controversy between computer scientists and programmers. Against this background, the project investigates the emergence of this type-centric standard of correctness. This will reflect on the broader theme of formal solutions to practical techno-social problems and the formation of disciplinary norms of correctness.