Philosophical Studies 143 (1):33-57 (2009)

Margaret Morrison
University of Toronto, St. George
The paper presents an argument for treating certain types of computer simulation as having the same epistemic status as experimental measurement. While this may seem a rather counterintuitive view it becomes less so when one looks carefully at the role that models play in experimental activity, particularly measurement. I begin by discussing how models function as “measuring instruments” and go on to examine the ways in which simulation can be said to constitute an experimental activity. By focussing on the connections between models and their various functions, simulation and experiment one can begin to see similarities in the practices associated with each type of activity. Establishing the connections between simulation and particular types of modelling strategies and highlighting the ways in which those strategies are essential features of experimentation allows us to clarify the contexts in which we can legitimately call computer simulation a form of experimental measurement.
Keywords Simulation  Modelling  Experiment  Calculation  Material systems
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-008-9317-y
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References found in this work BETA

Testability and Meaning.Rudolf Carnap - 1936 - Philosophy of Science 3 (4):419-471.
Representation and Invariance of Scientific Structures.Patrick Suppes - 2002 - CSLI Publications (distributed by Chicago University Press).
A Tale of Two Methods.Eric Winsberg - 2009 - Synthese 169 (3):575 - 592.

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Citations of this work BETA

Old and New Problems in Philosophy of Measurement.Eran Tal - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (12):1159-1173.
Computer Simulation, Measurement, and Data Assimilation.Wendy S. Parker - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (1):273-304.
Experiments, Simulations, and Epistemic Privilege.Emily C. Parke - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (4):516-536.
Thought Experiments.Yiftach J. H. Fehige & James R. Brown - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 25 (1):135-142.

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Old and New Problems in Philosophy of Measurement.Eran Tal - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (12):1159-1173.


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