According to Okasha, the aim of the philosophy of science is understanding the way techniques of theory construction, experimentation, as well as observation, have facilitated scientists to reveal the secrets of nature (Okasha, 2016, p.2). Science seeks to apprehend, predict as well as understand the world through certain distinguishing features of science including experiments, observations and theory constructions. With regard to the distinguishing features of science by Okasha, computer science can be considered a genuine science like physics, biology or chemistry. One of Okasha’s distinguishing features of science is based on the methodology of investigating the world which mostly entails the use of experiments which has marked the turning point of development of modern science (Okasha, 2016, p.2). Computer science has this distinguishing feature since it involves a lot of experimentation in computing thus making it a genuine science. In computer science, both empirical and experimental research is conducted and is commonly referred to as experimental science. Just like other genuine sciences like Physics, computer science appreciates experimentation as the heart of the scientific process which they use in testing theories and exploring critical factors.
Another significant feature of science identified by Okasha is definitely theory constructions. Political science constructs theories and that is why it should be considered a genuine science (Okasha, 2016, p.3). Okasha asserts that scientist does not just take down the findings and outcomes of an experiment or observation but rather focus more on explaining the results obtained using terms of the general theory constructed (Okasha, 2016, p.7). In computer science, theories pervade their daily practices. Experiments are used to test theories and also theories are used in explaining the results of research. For instance, even though developments in computing theory are tangible, the theory undergoes various elements of construction, explanations as well as the understanding of computers.
Okasha also identifies observation as a distinguishing element of science. Computer science applies observation especially in observing the details of a situation and also to observe the impact that an event or a process has caused (Okasha, 2016, p.5). Essentially, most techniques in computer science are facilitating observational learning. Actually, there is an observation protocol for computer science education and this makes computer science to be considered a genuine science. Moreover, just as scientists do, computer science specialists tend to make inferences after their experiments reaching conclusions that are based on sound reasoning and solid evidence. Okasha identifies that there are two types of reasoning, which include inductive and deductive reasoning (Okasha, 2016, p.2). He asserts that deductive reasoning is safer than inductive reasoning since when a true premise is obtained, and then the conclusion is guaranteed. In computer science, both types of reasoning are used but inductive reasoning is predominantly used.
Why computer science should not be considered a genuine science
Okasha identifies that mathematics language can be utilized in describing the behavior of actual objects. This can be achieved through experimentation. The scientific theories are formed in mathematical language in both biology and physical science. Therefore, computer science should not be considered a genuine science since it is in the same position to mathematics principally, but the results of the experiments may be deduced based on logic, without really conducting an experiment (Okasha, 2016, p.4). The experiment is an important element of science and since computer science tends to ignore conducting experiments, then it should not be considered a genuine science.
Okasha contends that science seeks to apprehend, predict as well as understand the world through certain distinguishing features of science including experiments, observations and theory constructions (Okasha, 2016, p.5). Therefore, computer science should not be considered a genuine science since it tends to combine several branches of science. Most computer sciences are mainly mathematical or soft science. Computer science mainly studies manmade things while genuine science studies the natural phenomenon and the real world. Furthermore, mathematics is not regarded as a genuine science analogously. Therefore, computer science should not be regarded as genuine science.
Apparently, computer science should not be considered a genuine science but rather an applied science with precise applications. Computer science places more focus on computational problems but not natural problems (Okasha, 2016, p.3). Computers are manmade, and computer science is focused on addressing computational problems meaning that computer sciences issues affecting technology which is made by humans and it is not designed to address natural problems. Therefore, computer science does not qualify to be considered a natural science just like physics, biology, and chemistry.