Python for philosophers

Discussion in 'Python' started by Citizen Kant, May 11, 2013.

  1. Citizen Kant

    Citizen Kant Guest

    Hi,
    this could be seen as an extravagant subject but that is not my original
    purpose. I still don't know if I want to become a programmer or not. At
    this moment I'm just inspecting the environment. I'm making my way to
    Python (and OOP in general) from a philosophical perspective or point of
    view and try to set the more global definition of Python's core as an
    "entity". In order to do that, and following Wittgenstein's indication
    about that the true meaning of words doesn't reside on dictionaries but in
    the use that we make of them, the starting question I make to myself about
    Python is: which is the single and most basic use of Python as the entity
    it is? I mean, beside programming, what's the single and most basic result
    one can expect from "interacting" with it directly (interactive mode)? I
    roughly came to the idea that Python could be considered as an *economic
    mirror for data*, one that mainly *mirrors* the data the programmer types
    on its black surface, not exactly as the programmer originally typed it,
    but expressed in the most economic way possible. That's to say, for
    example, if one types >>>1+1 Python reflects >>>2. When data appears
    between apostrophes, then the mirror reflects, again, the same but
    expressed in the most economic way possible (that's to say without the
    apostrophes).

    So, would it be legal (true) to define Python's core as an entity that
    mirrors whatever data one presents to it (or feed it with) showing back the
    most shortened expression of that data?

    Don't get me wrong. I can see the big picture and the amazing things that
    programmers write on Python, it's just that my question points to the
    lowest level of it's existence.

    Thanks a lot for your time.
     
    Citizen Kant, May 11, 2013
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. Citizen Kant wrote:
    > I roughly came to the idea that Python could be
    > considered as an *economic mirror for data*, one that mainly *mirrors*
    > the data the programmer types on its black surface, not exactly as the
    > programmer originally typed it, but expressed in the most economic way
    > possible.


    At best, this would be true only for a very small
    subset of things that you can enter into the
    interactive interpreter.

    Even confining yourself to arithmetic expressions,
    there are problems. Consider:

    >>> 12**34

    4922235242952026704037113243122008064L

    The input is 6 characters long, and the output
    is 37 characters long. Is that more "economical"?

    --
    Greg
     
    Gregory Ewing, May 12, 2013
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. On Sat, 11 May 2013 22:03:15 +0200, Citizen Kant wrote:

    > Hi,
    > this could be seen as an extravagant subject but that is not my original
    > purpose. I still don't know if I want to become a programmer or not. At
    > this moment I'm just inspecting the environment.


    Towards what purpose?

    Do you want to learn to program? If not, then why do you care about
    Python programming? What do you aim to get out of this exercise?


    > I'm making my way to
    > Python (and OOP in general) from a philosophical perspective or point of
    > view and try to set the more global definition of Python's core as an
    > "entity".


    What do you think "Python's core" means? What do you mean by "global
    definition"? What is an "entity"?


    > In order to do that, and following Wittgenstein's indication
    > about that the true meaning of words doesn't reside on dictionaries but
    > in the use that we make of them, the starting question I make to myself
    > about Python is: which is the single and most basic use of Python as the
    > entity it is?


    Programming.

    A programming language is an abstract system for performing computations.
    Or, if you prefer simple English, programming. Programming is what
    programming languages are for. That is *all* they are for.


    > I mean, beside programming,


    Your question pre-supposes a counter-factual. Namely that there exists
    something *more fundamental* to programming that Python is for. One might
    as well ask:

    "Aside from driving screws, what is the single and most basic use of a
    screwdriver?"

    Just because you can pound a small nail into soft wood using the handle
    of a screwdriver, does not mean that pounding nails is more fundamental
    to the screwdriver than driving screws.


    > what's the single and most
    > basic result one can expect from "interacting" with it directly
    > (interactive mode)?


    For your purposes, what is so special about interactive mode that you
    single it out in this way? Interactive mode is just like non-interactive
    mode, only the user interacts directly with the compiler, instead of
    indirectly.


    --
    Steven
     
    Steven D'Aprano, May 13, 2013
    #3
  4. On Sunday, 12 May 2013 01:33:15 UTC+5:30, Citizen Kant wrote:
    > Hi,
    > this could be seen as an extravagant subject but that is not my original purpose. I still don't know if I want to become a programmer or not. At this moment I'm just inspecting the environment. I'm making my way to Python (and OOP in general) from a philosophical perspective or point of view and try to set the more global definition of Python's core as an "entity". In order to do that, and following Wittgenstein's indication about that the truemeaning of words doesn't reside on dictionaries but in the use that we make of them, the starting question I make to myself about Python is: which isthe single and most basic use of Python as the entity it is? I mean, beside programming, what's the single and most basic result one can expect from "interacting" with it directly (interactive mode)? I roughly came to the idea that Python could be considered as an economic mirror for data, one thatmainly mirrors the data the programmer types on its black surface, not exactly as the programmer originally typed it, but expressed in the most economic way possible. That's to say, for example, if one types >>>1+1 Python reflects >>>2. When data appears between apostrophes, then the mirror reflects, again, the same but expressed in the most economic way possible (that's to say without the apostrophes).
    > So, would it be legal (true) to define Python's core as an entity that mirrors whatever data one presents to it (or feed it with) showing back the most shortened expression of that data?
    > Don't get me wrong. I can see the big picture and the amazing things thatprogrammers write on Python, it's just that my question points to the lowest level of it's existence.
    > Thanks a lot for your time.

    I expected some spam but this actually makes some sense.
     
    Ramchandra Apte, May 15, 2013
    #4
    1. Advertising

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

It takes just 2 minutes to sign up (and it's free!). Just click the sign up button to choose a username and then you can ask your own questions on the forum.
Similar Threads
  1. Mark Janssen

    Re: Python for philosophers

    Mark Janssen, May 11, 2013, in forum: Python
    Replies:
    8
    Views:
    157
    Dennis Lee Bieber
    May 12, 2013
  2. Fábio Santos

    Re: Python for philosophers

    Fábio Santos, May 11, 2013, in forum: Python
    Replies:
    0
    Views:
    133
    Fábio Santos
    May 11, 2013
  3. Ned Batchelder

    Re: Python for philosophers

    Ned Batchelder, May 12, 2013, in forum: Python
    Replies:
    0
    Views:
    112
    Ned Batchelder
    May 12, 2013
  4. Joel Goldstick

    Re: Python for philosophers

    Joel Goldstick, May 12, 2013, in forum: Python
    Replies:
    0
    Views:
    118
    Joel Goldstick
    May 12, 2013
  5. Citizen Kant

    Re: Python for philosophers

    Citizen Kant, May 12, 2013, in forum: Python
    Replies:
    19
    Views:
    177
    Michael Torrie
    May 19, 2013
Loading...

Share This Page