Why should a Philosopher of Science care about Simulations?

Eva Žáčková


Why should a philosopher of science be interested in simulations at all? The author of the paper points out current ubiquity of computer simulation methods in science, and more importantly, their great potential for development of truly new methodological concepts and categories in theory and philosophy of science. The described example of a numerical experiment, which is one of the most used and useful forms of simulation in science, epitomizes their ambiguous methodological status. On one hand, one can clearly identify features of simulations that are obviously related to theoretical approaches in science. On the other hand, simulations often play a role similar to empirical evidence, which leads us to a conclusion that simulations might be more on the experimental side. In this paper I focus mainly on Humphreys` interpretation of simulation as a hybrid category that could arouse a call for new foundation of theory of science.


methodology of science, computational empiricism, computer simulation, numerical experiment


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Published by the Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic.
ISSN: 1212-9097