David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophical Studies 143 (1):59 - 62 (2009)
Morrison points out many similarities between the roles of simulation models and other sorts of models in science. On the basis of these similarities she claims that running a simulation is epistemologically on a par with doing a traditional experiment and that the output of a simulation therefore counts as a measurement. I agree with her premises but reject the inference. The epistemological payoff of a traditional experiment is greater (or less) confidence in the fit between a model and a target system. The source of this payoff is the existence of a causal interaction with the target system. A computer experiment, which does not go beyond the simulation system itself, lacks any such interaction. So computer experiments cannot confer any additional confidence in the fit (or lack thereof) between the simulation model and the target system.
|Keywords||Models Computer simulation Experimentation Epistemological warrant|
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References found in this work BETA
Eric Winsberg (2009). A Tale of Two Methods. Synthese 169 (3):575 - 592.
Citations of this work BETA
Claus Beisbart (2012). How Can Computer Simulations Produce New Knowledge? European Journal for Philosophy of Science 2 (3):395-434.
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