Science as (Historical) Narrative

Erkenntnis 75 (3):349-376 (2011)
The traditional mode of explanation in physics via deduction from partial differential equations is contrasted here with explanation via simulations. I argue that the different technologies employed constitute different languages, which support different sorts of narratives. The narratives that accompany simulations and articulate their meaning are typically historical or natural historical in kind. They explain complex phenomena by growing them rather than by referring them to general laws. Examples of such growth simulations and growth narratives come from the evolution of wave functions in quantum chaos, snowflake formation, and Etruscan genetics. The examples suggest a few concluding remarks on historical explanation
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DOI 10.1007/s10670-011-9339-2
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References found in this work BETA
Lorraine Daston (2007). Objectivity. Distributed by the MIT Press.
John Beatty (2006). Replaying Life's Tape. Journal of Philosophy 103 (7):336-362.

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Citations of this work BETA
Gerhard Müller-Strahl (2013). Metaphysik des Mechanismus Im Teleologischen Idealismus. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 44 (1):127-152.
Mary S. Morgan (2013). Experiencing Life Through Modeling. Perspectives on Science 21 (2):245-249.

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