Studying the Philosophy of Software: A Framework for Examining How Digital Design Affects the Arts
In this presentation, the author extends his previous publications on the observed effects of software design decisions on the creative process by offering a framework for the philosophical evaluation of software designs. The task, as described, involves the systematic decomposition of assumptions and intended use as they effect the creative process. In short, this presentation defines a new area of humanities study – the philosophical examination of software.
This research combines the established multidisciplinary examinations of critical cartography, post modern philosophy and creative process theory to define an innovative means of decomposing the effects of digital technology on creative production. The presentation takes case studies in creative writing and 3D modeling to demonstrate how the philosophical study of software design illuminates developer implied paths to production. Just as the design of a city directs pedestrians and cars, the design of software directs its users toward specific ends. A structured analysis of these implied paths, informed by critical examination through the lens of a variety of humanities (e.g. philosophy, social sciences, et al.) can yield engaging observations about the ways problems are solved.
This presentation is provided as intellectual fodder for educators and practitioners in humanities that routinely employ digital technologies.
Keywords: Software Philosophy, Teaching the Arts, Digital Art
Assistant Professor, Fine Arts Department and Armstrong Institute of Interactive Media Studie