“Informatics” or “Computer Science”?

As for rendering the Polish phrase “Filozofia w Informatyce” in English,  I think that the translation “Philosophy of Informatics” is obvious (if it is expected to cover the real field of interests at our conferences). Perhaps, the issue is worth of some discussion, but without putting  too much effort; a concise exchange of opinions  within this blog should do.

To contribute to such an exchange, I suggest consulting the article:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Informatics#Etymology. There you find the explanation: “the field of informatics has great breadth and encompasses many subspecialties, including disciplines of computer science, information systems, information technology and statistics.”.

Now everybody, I believe, has to see that the translation “computer science” proves too narrow (restrictive). To the list of disciplines embraced by the term “informatics” there should be added relevant parts of mathematical logic, like the issues of computability (e.g., relative computability as depending from the power of axioms, inference rules etc.). Moreover, neoroinformatics (nearly 600.000 items in Google), some issues of genetics, of cognitive science, and so on.

Let me add the following definition from a German source, as the term “Informatik” has been coined by German scholars.

“Informatik — Wissenschaft von der systematischen Verarbeitung von Informationen, insbesondere mithilfe von Computern.”

This is to the effect that “Informatik” means: “science of systematic processing of messages, in particular [emphasis mine] with the help of computers.” Note, computers are here treated as distinguished but not the only means of information processing.

Ten wpis został opublikowany w kategorii Filozofia informatyki, Filozofia nauki i oznaczony tagami , , , . Dodaj zakładkę do bezpośredniego odnośnika.

1 Responses to “Informatics” or “Computer Science”?

  1. Andrzej Włodarczyk pisze:

    It does not seem that there is a broad consensus among English speaking specialists of information processing as for the use of “informatics” for their science. In my opinion, in most cases the Polish term “informatyka” should be translated into English by “computer science”.

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