Erkenntnis 75 (3):349-376 (2011)

Abstract
The traditional mode of explanation in physics via deduction from partial differential equations is contrasted here with explanation via simulations. I argue that the different technologies employed constitute different languages, which support different sorts of narratives. The narratives that accompany simulations and articulate their meaning are typically historical or natural historical in kind. They explain complex phenomena by growing them rather than by referring them to general laws. Examples of such growth simulations and growth narratives come from the evolution of wave functions in quantum chaos, snowflake formation, and Etruscan genetics. The examples suggest a few concluding remarks on historical explanation
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DOI 10.1007/s10670-011-9339-2
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References found in this work BETA

Pandora’s Hope.Bruno Latour - 1998 - Harvard University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Ontic Account of Scientific Explanation.Carl F. Craver - 2014 - In Marie I. Kaiser, Oliver R. Scholz, Daniel Plenge & Andreas Hüttemann (eds.), Explanation in the Special Sciences: The Case of Biology and History. Springer Verlag. pp. 27-52.
Narrative Ordering and Explanation.Mary S. Morgan - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 62:86-97.
On the Narrative Form of Simulations.M. Norton Wise - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 62:74-85.

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