Computer Simulations in Science and Engineering. Concept, Practices, Perspectives

Springer (2018)
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This book addresses key conceptual issues relating to the modern scientific and engineering use of computer simulations. It analyses a broad set of questions, from the nature of computer simulations to their epistemological power, including the many scientific, social and ethics implications of using computer simulations. The book is written in an easily accessible narrative, one that weaves together philosophical questions and scientific technicalities. It will thus appeal equally to all academic scientists, engineers, and researchers in industry interested in questions related to the general practice of computer simulations.


Ethics and Computer Simulations

This chapter has the sole purpose of asking the following question: is there an ethics that emerges in the context of computer simulations? In order to properly answer this question, we need to investigate the specialized literature to see how issues have been approached. The first problem that we e... see more

Technological Paradigms

In previous chapters, we have discussed how philosophers, scientists, and engineers alike construct the idea that computer simulations offer a ‘new epistemology’ for scientific practice. By this they meant that computer simulations introduce new—and perhaps unprecedented—forms of knowing and underst... see more

Epistemic Functions of Computer Simulations

The previous chapter made a distinction between knowing and understanding. In computer simulations, this distinction allows us to set apart knowing when researchers trust the results and when they understand them. In this chapter, we explore different forms of understanding by means of using compute... see more

Trusting Computer Simulations

Relying on computer simulations and trusting their results is key for the epistemic future of this new research methodology. The questions that interest us in this chapter are how do researchers typically build reliability on computer simulations? and what exactly would it mean to trust results of c... see more

Units of Analysis II: Laboratory Experimentation and Computer Simulations

When philosophers fixed their attention on computer simulations, three different main lines of study emerged n 2013a). The first line of study focuses on finding a suitable definition for computer simulations. A fundamental step towards understanding computer simulations is, precisely, to better gra... see more

Units of Analysis I: Models and Computer Simulations

Theories, models, experimental set-ups, prototypes: these are some of the typical units of analysis found in standard scientific and engineering work. Science and engineering are of course populated with other, equally decisive units of analysis that facilitate our description and knowledge of the w... see more

The Universe of Computer Simulations

The universe of computer simulations is vast, flourishing in almost every scientific discipline, and still resisting a general conceptualization. From the early computations of the Moon’s orbit carried out by punched card machines, to the most recent attempts to simulate quantum states, computer sim... see more

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Author's Profile

Juan Manuel Durán
Delft University of Technology

References found in this work

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Edited by Ian Hacking.
Explaining the brain: mechanisms and the mosaic unity of neuroscience.Carl F. Craver - 2007 - New York : Oxford University Press,: Oxford University Press, Clarendon Press.

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