PHISE Logo 1st Workshop on Philosophical Foundations of Information Systems Engineering
(PHISE'05)


INTRODUCTION

Empirical and Formal Sciences are more ancient than Engineering Sciences and, for this reason, they have their own philosophical branch, the Philosophy of Science. Unfortunately, Engineering Sciences have no fully developed philosophical branch working towards conceptual clarity.

This workshop will try to cover different aspects related to philosophical foundations of the research in Software Engineering applied to Information System development. We propose an interdisciplinary workshop as a result of the confluence of three disciplines: Philosophy of Sciences and Technology, Software Engineering (SE) and Information System (IS). The topics that will be covered in the workshop will be related to methodological research in SE and IS (research methods, validation of the research results, etc.) as well as other relevant issues as the use of Ontologies and metaphors in SE and IS, Ethics, Information Society and Cybersociety, Cyberspace, etc.

The following questions about SE research may be posed: Are current methods for SE research appropriate? Do they meet all the possible problems in this area? Is it necessary to define new and different methods to the traditional scientific ones? Is it necessary to adapt the existing ones? How should research works in SE be validated?

It seems clear that methodological aspects in Information Systems Engineering (ISE) should not be separated from the foundations of Philosophy of Science, but benefit from the synergy of both disciplines. Besides, it is easy to appreciate that philosophical foundations affect not only ISE research, but also many others aspects of these disciplines. In general, such foundations are directly imported from traditional sciences, which is not always right. Think, for example of the utilization of the term "model" in IS or SE: does it have the same meaning as the one used in Models Theory? In this sense, a recent important international activity tries to go deeper into these concepts from a philosophical perspective, mainly studying the philosophical concept of "ontology" applied to ISE. The workshop will be an attempt to cover the existing lack of philosophical foundation in ISE as a first meeting forum between these two disciplines