David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Acta Biotheoretica 59 (1):67-79 (2011)
The issue of whether formal reasoning or a computing-intensive approach is the most efficient manner to address scientific questions is the subject of some considerable debate and pertains not only to the nature of the phenomena and processes investigated by scientists, but also the nature of the equation and algorithm objects they use. Although algorithms and equations both rely on a common background of mathematical language and logic, they nevertheless possess some critical differences. They do not refer to the same level of symbolization, as equations are based on integrated concepts in a denotational manner, while algorithms specifically break down a complex problem into more elementary operations, in an operational manner. They may therefore be considered as suited to the representation of different phenomena. Specifically, algorithms are by nature sufficient to represent weak emergent phenomena, but not strong emergent patterns, while equations can do both. Finally, the choice between equations and algorithms are by nature sufficient to represent weak emergent phenomena, but not strong emergent patterns, while equations behave conversely. We propose a simplified classification of scientific issues for which both equation- and/or algorithm-based approaches can be envisaged, and discuss their respective pros and cons. We further discuss the complementary and sometimes conflicting uses of equations and algorithms in a context of ecological theory of metapopulation dynamics. We finally propose both conceptual and practical guidelines for choosing between the alternative approaches
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
F. C. Boogerd, F. J. Bruggeman, Robert C. Richardson, Achim Stephan & H. Westerhoff (2005). Emergence and Its Place in Nature: A Case Study of Biochemical Networks. Synthese 145 (1):131 - 164.
Joshua M. Epstein (1999). Agent-Based Computational Models and Generative Social Science. Complexity 4 (5):41-60.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Dominique Tournès (2012). Diagrams in the Theory of Differential Equations (Eighteenth to Nineteenth Centuries). Synthese 186 (1):257-288.
Hermann Wagner & Dirk Kautz (1998). Evolutionary Conservation and Ontogenetic Emergence of Neural Algorithms. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (2):285-286.
Peter Holland & Harvey R. Brown (2003). The Non-Relativistic Limits of the Maxwell and Dirac Equations: The Role of Galilean and Gauge Invariance. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 34 (2):161-187.
Jeff Edmonds (2008). How to Think About Algorithms. Cambridge University Press.
Alastair R. Hall & Fernanda P. M. Peixe (2000). Data Mining and the Selection of Instruments. Journal of Economic Methodology 7 (2):265-277.
Elio Conte (2012). On Some Considerations of Mathematical Physics: May We Identify Clifford Algebra as a Common Algebraic Structure for Classical Diffusion and Schrödinger Equations? Advanced Studies in Theoretical Physics 6 (26):1289-1307.
Stephen L. Bloom (1982). A Note on the Logic of Signed Equations. Studia Logica 41 (1):75 - 81.
Han Geurdes, On an Intrinsic Quantum Theoretical Structure Inside Einstein's Gravity Field Equations.
Ting-Chao Chou (2008). A New Look at the Ancient Asian Philosophy Through Modern Mathematical and Topological Scientific Analysis. Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 2:21-39.
Vladimir V. Rybakov (1992). Rules of Inference with Parameters for Intuitionistic Logic. Journal of Symbolic Logic 57 (3):912-923.
Martin W. Bunder, J. Roger Hindley & Jonathan P. Seldin (1989). On Adding (Ξ) to Weak Equality in Combinatory Logic. Journal of Symbolic Logic 54 (2):590-607.
Martin Peterson (2011). Is There an Ethics of Algorithms? Ethics and Information Technology 13 (3):251-260.
Added to index2010-11-17
Total downloads7 ( #423,759 of 1,902,202 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #346,051 of 1,902,202 )
How can I increase my downloads?