Authors
Claus Beisbart
University of Bern
Abstract
It is often claimed that scientists can obtain new knowledge about nature by running computer simulations. How is this possible? I answer this question by arguing that computer simulations are arguments. This view parallels Norton’s argument view about thought experiments. I show that computer simulations can be reconstructed as arguments that fully capture the epistemic power of the simulations. Assuming the extended mind hypothesis, I furthermore argue that running the computer simulation is to execute the reconstructing argument. I discuss some objections and reject the view that computer simulations produce knowledge because they are experiments. I conclude by comparing thought experiments and computer simulations, assuming that both are arguments
Keywords Computer simulations  Knowledge  Arguments  Thought experiments  Reasoning  Extended mind hypothesis
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DOI 10.1007/s13194-012-0049-7
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References found in this work BETA

The Extended Mind.Andy Clark & David J. Chalmers - 1998 - Analysis 58 (1):7-19.
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Citations of this work BETA

Value of Cognitive Diversity in Science.Samuli Pöyhönen - 2017 - Synthese 194 (11):4519-4540.
Thought Experiments.Yiftach J. H. Fehige & James R. Brown - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 25 (1):135-142.
Are Computer Simulations Experiments? And If Not, How Are They Related to Each Other?Claus Beisbart - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 8 (2):171-204.

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