Experiments, Simulations, and Epistemic Privilege

Philosophy of Science 81 (4):516-536 (2014)

Authors
Emily Parke
University of Auckland
Abstract
Experiments are commonly thought to have epistemic privilege over simulations. Two ideas underpin this belief: first, experiments generate greater inferential power than simulations, and second, simulations cannot surprise us the way experiments can. In this article I argue that neither of these claims is true of experiments versus simulations in general. We should give up the common practice of resting in-principle judgments about the epistemic value of cases of scientific inquiry on whether we classify those cases as experiments or simulations, per se. To the extent that either methodology puts researchers in a privileged epistemic position, this is context sensitive.
Keywords Experiments  Models  Simulation  Materiality  Surprise
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1086/677956
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 42,330
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Philosophy of Experimental Biology.Marcel Weber - 2009 - Erkenntnis 71 (3):431-436.

View all 21 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Bottled Understanding: The Role of Lab Work in Ecology.Adrian Currie - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axy047.
Why Experiments Matter.Adrian Currie & Arnon Levy - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-25.

View all 16 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

How Can Computer Simulations Produce New Knowledge?Claus Beisbart - 2012 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 2 (3):395-434.
A Tale of Two Methods.Eric Winsberg - 2009 - Synthese 169 (3):575 - 592.
Why Monte Carlo Simulations Are Inferences and Not Experiments.Claus Beisbart & John D. Norton - 2012 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 26 (4):403-422.
Computer Simulations as Experiments.Sara Franceschelli - 2009 - Synthese 169 (3):557 - 574.
Experiments Versus Models: New Phenomena, Inference and Surprise.Mary S. Morgan - 2005 - Journal of Economic Methodology 12 (2):317-329.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2014-09-26

Total views
71 ( #111,382 of 2,254,413 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #584,376 of 2,254,413 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature