Computer simulation and the features of novel empirical data

Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 56:145-152 (2016)
  Copy   BIBTEX


In an attempt to determine the epistemic status of computer simulation results, philosophers of science have recently explored the similarities and differences between computer simulations and experiments. One question that arises is whether and, if so, when, simulation results constitute novel empirical data. It is often supposed that computer simulation results could never be empirical or novel because simulations never interact with their targets, and cannot go beyond their programming. This paper argues against this position by examining whether, and under what conditions, the features of empiricality and novelty could be displayed by computer simulation data. I show that, to the extent that certain familiar measurement results have these features, so can some computer simulation results.

Similar books and articles

Computational models and empirical constraints.Zenon W. Pylyshyn - 1978 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 1 (1):98-128.
Serious games e simulazione come risorse per l’educazione.Luca Mori - 2012 - Meta: Research in Hermeneutics, Phenomenology, and Practical Philosophy 4 (1):56-72.
Combining qualitative and quantitative techniques in the simulation of chemical reaction mechanisms.Michael Eisenberg - forthcoming - Ai and Simulation: Theory and Applications (Simulation Series Vol. 22, No. 3.). Society for Computer Simulation, San Diego. Ca.
Computer simulation and the philosophy of science.Eric Winsberg - 2009 - Philosophy Compass 4 (5):835-845.
Some issues in model integration.Donald O. Walter & K. Bellman - 1990 - Ai and Simulation, Society for Computer Simulation, Simulation Series 22:3.
Universe creation on a computer.Gordon McCabe - 2004 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 36 (4):591-625.


Added to PP

1,579 (#5,542)

6 months
122 (#23,799)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Citations of this work

Measurement in Science.Eran Tal - 2015 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
When is an Ensemble like a Sample?Corey Dethier - 2022 - Synthese 200 (52):1-22.
Computer Simulation, Experiment, and Novelty.Julie Jebeile - 2017 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 31 (4):379-395.

View all 9 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

Scientific Representation: Paradoxes of Perspective.Bas C. Van Fraassen - 2008 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press UK.
Science in the age of computer simulation.Eric Winsberg - 2010 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Saving the phenomena.James Bogen & James Woodward - 1988 - Philosophical Review 97 (3):303-352.

View all 26 references / Add more references