Agent-based Models as Fictive Instantiations of Ecological Processes


Authors
Steve Peck
Brigham Young University
Abstract
Frigg and Reiss (2009) argue that philosophical problems in simulation bear enough resemblance to recognized issues in the philosophy of modeling that they only pose challenges analogous to those found in standard analytic models used to represent natural systems. They suggest that there are no new philosophical problems in computer simulation modeling beyond those found in traditional mathematical modeling. Winsberg (2009) has countered that there appear to be genuinely new epistemological problems in simulation modeling because the knowledge obtained from them is ‘downward, motley, and autonomous.’ Here I draw out some specific ways that these epistemological problems are manifest in complex ecological simulation, especially in agent-based models. These models contain novel features that were impossible to anticipate prior to the computer revolution, and continue to present difficulties and challenges of both a practical and philosophical nature (Humphreys 2002)
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DOI 10.3998/ptb.6959004.0004.003
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References found in this work BETA

Three Kinds of Idealization.Michael Weisberg - 2007 - Journal of Philosophy 104 (12):639-659.
Models and Fiction.Roman Frigg - 2010 - Synthese 172 (2):251-268.

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The Hermeneutics of Ecological Simulation.Steven L. Peck - 2008 - Biology and Philosophy 23 (3):383-402.
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Simulations, Models, and Theories: Complex Physical Systems and Their Representations.Eric Winsberg - 2001 - Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2001 (3):S442-.

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