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Empiricism, realism and rationalism: A summary of the philosophy

Using the notion of equivalence from the first session, we now have, potentially, four ways to think about how software might be developed. The session will address the questions categories actually exist in practice, and if so, are there any theoretical explanations for these categories?

Empiricism, realism and rationalism - a summary

We begin by revisiting the terms Reality, Representations and Descriptions introduced in the previous session and identifying some candidate methodologies for each of them. Having done so we move on to look at the theoretical underpinning of these categories. We do this by considering and epistemological dimension (Rationalism vs Empiricism) and an ontological dimension (Realism vs Anti Realism) which we link to the four categories identified earlier.

Philosophy and software design methods: a summary
Strand Ontological Position Epistemological Position
Formal Realist Rationalist
Semi-Formal Anti-Realist Rationalist
Object-Oriented Realist Empiricist
Holistic Anti-Realist Empiricist

Following this we examine the practical implications of our theoretical and conclude with a brief consideration of how well the examples we have looked at match the theory.




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Lecture notes

The notes for this session are available as a presentation (in pdf format) - lecture notes for session 3

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