David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Minds and Machines 13 (2):269-284 (2003)
My purpose in this essay is to clarify the notion of explanation by computer simulation in artificial intelligence and cognitive science. My contention is that computer simulation may be understood as providing two different kinds of explanation, which makes the notion of explanation by computer simulation ambiguous. In order to show this, I shall draw a distinction between two possible ways of understanding the notion of simulation, depending on how one views the relation in which a computing system that performs a cognitive task stands to the program that the system runs while performing that task. Next, I shall suggest that the kind of explanation that results from simulation is radically different in each case. In order to illustrate the difference, I will point out some prima facie methodological difficulties that need to be addressed in order to ensure that simulation plays a legitimate explanatory role in cognitive science, and I shall emphasize how those difficulties are very different depending on the notion of explanation involved.
|Keywords||Cognitive Science Computation Explanation Metaphysics Simulation|
|Categories||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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Gregory Currie (1995). Imagination as Simulation: Aesthetics Meets Cognitive Science. In Martin Davies & Tony Stone (eds.), Mental Simulation. Blackwell.
Ronald N. Giere (2009). Is Computer Simulation Changing the Face of Experimentation? Philosophical Studies 143 (1):59 - 62.
David Henderson (2011). Lets Be Flexible: Our Interpretive/Explanatory Toolbox, or In Praise of Using a Range of Tools. Journal of the Philosophy of History 5 (2):261-299.
Ron Sun & Isaac Naveh (2007). Social Institution, Cognition, and Survival: A Cognitive–Social Simulation. Mind and Society 6 (2):115-142.
Wendy S. Parker (2008). Computer Simulation Through an Error-Statistical Lens. Synthese 163 (3):371 - 384.
Eric Winsberg (2009). Computer Simulation and the Philosophy of Science. Philosophy Compass 4 (5):835-845.
Robert M. Gordon & Joe Cruz (2002). Simulation Theory. In L. Nagel (ed.), Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science. Macmillan.
Paul R. Thagard (1991). Philosophical and Computational Models of Explanation. Philosophical Studies 64 (October):87-104.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads32 ( #53,836 of 1,100,727 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #289,271 of 1,100,727 )
How can I increase my downloads?