On the basis of an earlier contribution to the philosophy of computer science [Ede2007] this essay discusses to what extent the ‘paradigms’ of computer science from [Ede2007] are also applicable to software engineering, and how software engineering and computer science are related to each other. The essay concludes that neither can software engineering be fully subsumed by computer science, nor vice versa. Consequently, also the philosophies of computer science and software engineering –though related to each other– are not identical branches of a general philosophy of science. This also implies that not all of the arguments from [Ede2007] can be directly and immediately mapped from the domain of computer science into the domain of software science. After the discussion of this topic, the essay also points to some further problems and open issues for future efforts in the philosophy of software science and engineering.
This essay is written in commemoration of the 100th birthdays of Konrad Zuse and Lothar Collatz (both *1910) in the year 2010. Zuse contributed to the science of computing coming from the domain of engineering, Collatz from the domain of mathematics.