Talking about Computing and Philosophy

Wolfram|Alpha, A New Kind of Science, and even Mathematica all have aspects that are philosophy projects. Each of them, in different ways, informs questions in philosophy—and are themselves informed by philosophical ideas and discoveries.

Indeed, the very fact that I decided Wolfram|Alpha might be a possible project was the result of what amounts to a philosophical realization that I learned from A New Kind of Science: there is no bright line that identifies “intelligence”; it is all just computation.

I don’t get to talk much about philosophy. But here is a recording of a keynote speech I was recently asked to give about “computing and philosophy”.


  1. Please, we want Mathematica 8 for the iPad !!

  2. If it turns out to be the case that “Computational Irreducibility implies that we are equivalent to the systems we are observing,” then the Dzogchen yogis will have been proven right. Striking.