The World as a Process: Simulations in the Natural and Social Sciences

In Rainer Hegselmann (ed.), Modelling and Simulation in the Social Sciences from the Philosophy of Science Point of View (1996)
Abstract
Simulation techniques, especially those implemented on a computer, are frequently employed in natural as well as in social sciences with considerable success. There is mounting evidence that the "model-building era" (J. Niehans) that dominated the theoretical activities of the sciences for a long time is about to be succeeded or at least lastingly supplemented by the "simulation era". But what exactly are models? What is a simulation and what is the difference and the relation between a model and a simulation? These are some of the questions addressed in this article. I maintain that the most significant feature of a simulation is that it allows scientists to imitate one process by another process. "Process" here refers solely to a temporal sequence of states of a system. Given the observation that processes are dealt with by all sorts of scientists, it is apparent that simulations prove to be a powerful interdisciplinarily acknowledged tool. Accordingly, simulations are best suited to investigate the various research strategies in different sciences more carefully. To this end, I focus on the function of simulations in the research process. Finally, a somewhat detailed case-study from nuclear physics is presented which, in my view, illustrates elements of a typical simulation in physics.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 25,767
External links

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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
How Can Computer Simulations Produce New Knowledge?Claus Beisbart - 2012 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 2 (3):395-434.
A Theory of Scientific Study.Robert W. P. Luk - 2017 - Foundations of Science 22 (1):11-38.
Simulating Peer Disagreements.Igor Douven - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 41 (2):148-157.

View all 16 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

134 ( #33,524 of 2,146,969 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

9 ( #81,884 of 2,146,969 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums