Agent-Based Simulation and Sociological Understanding

Perspectives on Science 22 (3):318-335 (2014)

Authors
Petri Ylikoski
University of Helsinki
Abstract
This article discusses agent-based simulation (ABS) as a tool of sociological understanding. I argue that agent-based simulations can play an important role in the expansion of explanatory understanding in the social sciences. The argument is based on an inferential account of understanding (Ylikoski 2009, Ylikoski & Kuorikoski 2010), according to which computer simulations increase our explanatory understanding by expanding our ability to make what-if inferences about social processes and by making these inferences more reliable. The inferential account also suggests a number of ways in which the use of simulation methodology might give rise to illusory understanding. The structure of the article is as ..
Keywords sociology  agent-based simulation  understanding  models
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DOI 10.1162/POSC_a_00136
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References found in this work BETA

Making Things Happen. A Theory of Causal Explanation.James Woodward - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (1):233-249.
Dissecting Explanatory Power.Petri Ylikoski & Jaakko Kuorikoski - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 148 (2):201–219.
Causal Mechanisms in the Social Sciences.Peter Hedström & Petri Ylikoski - 2010 - Annual Review of Sociology 36:49–67.
Understanding with Theoretical Models.Petri Ylikoski & N. Emrah Aydinonat - 2014 - Journal of Economic Methodology 21 (1):19-36.

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Citations of this work BETA

Understanding with Theoretical Models.Petri Ylikoski & N. Emrah Aydinonat - 2014 - Journal of Economic Methodology 21 (1):19-36.
Explicating Objectual Understanding: Taking Degrees Seriously.Christoph Baumberger - 2019 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 1:1-22.

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Causal Mechanisms in the Social Sciences.Peter Hedström & Petri Ylikoski - 2010 - Annual Review of Sociology 36:49–67.
Generative Explanation and Individualism in Agent-Based Simulation.C. Marchionni & P. Ylikoski - 2013 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 43 (3):323-340.
Agent-Based Modeling and the Fallacies of Individualism.Brian Epstein - 2011 - In Paul Humphreys & Cyrille Imbert (eds.), Models, Simulations, and Representations. Routledge. pp. 115444.

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