Computer Science and Metaphysics: A Cross-Fertilization


Daniel Kirchner, Christoph Benzmüller, and Edward N. Zalta


Open Philosophy, 2 (2019): 230--251 (Special Issue: Computer Modeling in Philosophy), Patrick Grim, ed.)
(preprint in


Computational philosophy is the use of mechanized computational techniques to unearth philosophical insights that are either difficult or impossible to find using traditional philosophical methods. Computational metaphysics is computational philosophy with a focus on metaphysics. In this paper, we (a) develop results in modal metaphysics whose discovery was computer assisted, and (b) conclude that these results work not only to the obvious benefit of philosophy but also, less obviously, to the benefit of computer science, since the new computational techniques that led to these results may be more broadly applicable within computer science. The paper includes a description of our background methodology and how it evolved, and a discussion of our new results.

[Author's preprint available online in PDF]