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  1. added 2020-07-09
    Virtual Realism: Really Realism or Only Virtually So? A Comment on D. J. Chalmers’s Petrus Hispanus Lectures.Claus Beisbart - 2019 - Disputatio 11 (55):297-331.
    What is the status of a cat in a virtual reality environment? Is it a real object? Or part of a fiction? Virtual realism, as defended by D. J. Chalmers, takes it to be a virtual object that really exists, that has properties and is involved in real events. His preferred specification of virtual realism identifies the cat with a digital object. The project of this paper is to use a comparison between virtual reality environments and scientific computer simulations to (...)
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  2. added 2020-07-02
    The Epistemic Superiority of Experiment to Simulation.Sherrilyn Roush - 2018 - Synthese 195 (11):4883-4906.
    This paper defends the naïve thesis that the method of experiment has per se an epistemic superiority over the method of computer simulation, a view that has been rejected by some philosophers writing about simulation, and whose grounds have been hard to pin down by its defenders. I further argue that this superiority does not come from the experiment’s object being materially similar to the target in the world that the investigator is trying to learn about, as both sides of (...)
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  3. added 2020-06-05
    Proof of Concept Research.Steve Elliott - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science.
    Researchers often pursue proof of concept research, but criteria for evaluating such research remain poorly specified. This paper proposes a general framework for proof of concept research that knits together and augments earlier discussions. The framework includes prototypes, proof of concept demonstrations, and post facto demonstrations. With a case from theoretical evolutionary genetics, the paper illustrates the general framework and articulates some of the reasoning strategies used within that field. This paper provides both specific tools with which to understand how (...)
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  4. added 2020-06-03
    Using Simulation in the Assessment of Voting Procedures: An Epistemic Instrumental Approach.Marc Jiménez Rolland, Julio César Macías-Ponce & Luis Fernando Martínez-Álvarez - forthcoming - Simulation: Transactions of the Society for Modeling and Simulation International:1-8.
    In this paper, we argue that computer simulations can provide valuable insights into the performance of voting methods on different collective decision problems. This could improve institutional design, even when there is no general theoretical result to support the optimality of a voting method. To support our claim, we first describe a decision problem that has not received much theoretical attention in the literature. We outline different voting methods to address that collective decision problem. Under certain criteria of assessment akin (...)
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  5. added 2020-02-08
    Transparency in Complex Computational Systems.Kathleen A. Creel - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science.
    Scientists depend on complex computational systems that are often ineliminably opaque, to the detriment of our ability to give scientific explanations and detect artifacts. Some philosophers have suggested treating opaque systems instrumentally, but computer scientists developing strategies for increasing transparency are correct in finding this unsatisfying. Instead, I propose an analysis of transparency as having three forms: transparency of the algorithm, the realization of the algorithm in code, and the way that code is run on particular hardware and data. This (...)
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  6. added 2019-12-09
    Simulation Models of the Evolution of Cooperation as Proofs of Logical Possibilities. How Useful Are They?Eckhart Arnold - 2013 - Etica E Politica 15 (2):101-138.
    This paper discusses critically what simulation models of the evolution ofcooperation can possibly prove by examining Axelrod’s “Evolution of Cooperation” and the modeling tradition it has inspired. Hardly any of the many simulation models of the evolution of cooperation in this tradition have been applicable empirically. Axelrod’s role model suggested a research design that seemingly allowed to draw general conclusions from simulation models even if the mechanisms that drive the simulation could not be identified empirically. But this research design was (...)
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  7. added 2019-12-09
    How Models Fail.Eckhart Arnold - 1st ed. 2015 - In Catrin Misselhorn (ed.), Collective Agency and Cooperation in Natural and Artificial Systems. Springer Verlag.
    Simulation models of the Reiterated Prisoner's Dilemma (in the following: RPD-models) are since 30 years considered as one of the standard tools to study the evolution of cooperation (Rangoni 2013; Hoffmann 2000). A considerable number of such simulation models has been produced by scientists. Unfortunately, though, none of these models has empirically been verified and there exists no example of empirical research where any of the RPD-models has successfully been employed to a particular instance of cooperation. Surprisingly, this has not (...)
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  8. added 2019-09-25
    Towards a Taxonomy of the Model-Ladenness of Data.Alisa Bokulich - forthcoming - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association.
    Model-data symbiosis is the view that there is an interdependent and mutually beneficial relationship between data and models, whereby models are not only data-laden, but data are also model-laden or model filtered. In this paper I elaborate and defend the second, more controversial, component of the symbiosis view. In particular, I construct a preliminary taxonomy of the different ways in which theoretical and simulation models are used in the production of data sets. These include data conversion, data correction, data interpolation, (...)
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  9. added 2019-09-09
    Refounding of the Activity Concept? Towards a Federative Paradigm for Modeling and Simulation.Alexandre Muzy, Franck Varenne, Bernard P. Zeigler, Jonathan Caux, Patrick Coquillard, Luc Touraille, Dominique Prunetti, Philippe Caillou, Olivier Michel & David R. C. Hill - 2013 - Simulation - Transactions of the Society for Modeling and Simulation International 89 (2):156-177.
    Currently, the widely used notion of activity is increasingly present in computer science. However, because this notion is used in specific contexts, it becomes vague. Here, the notion of activity is scrutinized in various contexts and, accordingly, put in perspective. It is discussed through four scientific disciplines: computer science, biology, economics, and epistemology. The definition of activity usually used in simulation is extended to new qualitative and quantitative definitions. In computer science, biology and economics disciplines, the new simulation activity definition (...)
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  10. added 2019-09-09
    Quelques Aspects de L’Œuvre de Jean-Marie Legay.Franck Varenne - 2012 - Natures Sciences Sociétés 20 (4):461-463.
    Cet article revient sur la pratique scientifique et les thèses épistémologiques de Jean-Marie Legay concernant les modèles, les simulations et les systèmes complexes. Il montre qu'il y a une cohérence entre sa thèse anti-représentationnaliste concernant les modèles et les simulations et sa caractérisation même des systèmes complexes : une simulation informatique, seule, n'est pas une expérience au sens fort car, en l'isolant, on perd la dimension complexe de toute entreprise d'expérimentation scientifique dès lors qu'il y manque le modélisateur, le terrain (...)
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  11. added 2019-08-06
    Learning Through Simulation.Sara Aronowitz & Tania Lombrozo - 2020 - Philosophers' Imprint 20.
    Mental simulation — such as imagining tilting a glass to figure out the angle at which water would spill — can be a way of coming to know the answer to an internally or externally posed query. Is this form of learning a species of inference or a form of observation? We argue that it is neither: learning through simulation is a genuinely distinct form of learning. On our account, simulation can provide knowledge of the answer to a query even (...)
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  12. added 2019-07-03
    Why Simpler Computer Simulation Models Can Be Epistemically Better for Informing Decisions.Casey Helgeson, Vivek Srikrishnan, Klaus Keller & Nancy Tuana - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science.
    For computer simulation models to usefully inform climate risk management decisions, uncertainties in model projections must be explored and characterized. Because doing so requires running the model many times over, and because computing resources are finite, uncertainty assessment is more feasible using models that need less computer processor time. Such models are generally simpler in the sense of being more idealized, or less realistic. So modelers face a trade-off between realism and extent of uncertainty quantification. Seeing this trade-off for the (...)
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  13. added 2019-06-29
    Validation of Computer Simulations From a Kuhnian Perspective.Eckhart Arnold - 2019 - In Claus Beisbart & Nicole J. Saam (eds.), Computer Simulation Validation - Fundamental Concepts, Methodological Frameworks, and Philosophical Perspectives. Heidelberg, Deutschland: Springer. pp. 203-224.
    While Thomas Kuhn's theory of scientific revolutions does not specifically deal with validation, the validation of simulations can be related in various ways to Kuhn's theory: 1) Computer simulations are sometimes depicted as located between experiments and theoretical reasoning, thus potentially blurring the line between theory and empirical research. Does this require a new kind of research logic that is different from the classical paradigm which clearly distinguishes between theory and empirical observation? I argue that this is not the case. (...)
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  14. added 2019-05-28
    Agent-Based Models and Simulations in Economics and Social Sciences: From Conceptual Exploration to Distinct Ways of Experimenting.Franck Varenne & Denis Phan - 2008 - In Nuno David, José Castro Caldas & Helder Coelho (eds.), Proceedings of the 3rd EPOS congress (Epistemological Perspectives On Simulations). Lisbon: pp. 51-69.
    Now that complex Agent-Based Models and computer simulations spread over economics and social sciences - as in most sciences of complex systems -, epistemological puzzles (re)emerge. We introduce new epistemological tools so as to show to what precise extent each author is right when he focuses on some empirical, instrumental or conceptual significance of his model or simulation. By distinguishing between models and simulations, between types of models, between types of computer simulations and between types of empiricity, section 2 gives (...)
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  15. added 2019-05-10
    Peeking Inside the Black Box: A New Kind of Scientific Visualization.Michael T. Stuart & Nancy J. Nersessian - 2018 - Minds and Machines 29 (1):87-107.
    Computational systems biologists create and manipulate computational models of biological systems, but they do not always have straightforward epistemic access to the content and behavioural profile of such models because of their length, coding idiosyncrasies, and formal complexity. This creates difficulties both for modellers in their research groups and for their bioscience collaborators who rely on these models. In this paper we introduce a new kind of visualization that was developed to address just this sort of epistemic opacity. The visualization (...)
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  16. added 2019-03-08
    The Termination Risks of Simulation Science.Preston Greene - 2020 - Erkenntnis 85 (2):489-509.
    Historically, the hypothesis that our world is a computer simulation has struck many as just another improbable-but-possible “skeptical hypothesis” about the nature of reality. Recently, however, the simulation hypothesis has received significant attention from philosophers, physicists, and the popular press. This is due to the discovery of an epistemic dependency: If we believe that our civilization will one day run many simulations concerning its ancestry, then we should believe that we are probably in an ancestor simulation right now. This essay (...)
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  17. added 2018-12-02
    The Dark Side of the Force: When Computer Simulations Lead Us Astray and ``Model Think'' Narrows Our Imagination.Eckhart Arnold - manuscript
    This paper is intended as a critical examination of the question of when the use of computer simulations is beneficial to scientific explanations. This objective is pursued in two steps: First, I try to establish clear criteria that simulations must meet in order to be explanatory. Basically, a simulation has explanatory power only if it includes all causally relevant factors of a given empirical configuration and if the simulation delivers stable results within the measurement inaccuracies of the input parameters. If (...)
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  18. added 2018-10-21
    Computer Simulations in Science and Engineering. Concept, Practices, Perspectives.Juan Manuel Durán - 2018 - Springer.
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  19. added 2018-09-04
    What Does a Computer Simulation Prove? The Case of Plant Modeling at CIRAD.Franck Varenne - 2001 - In N. Giambiasi & C. Frydman (eds.), Simulation in industry - ESS 2001, Proc. of the 13th European Simulation Symposium. Society for Computer Simulation (SCS).
    The credibility of digital computer simulations has always been a problem. Today, through the debate on verification and validation, it has become a key issue. I will review the existing theses on that question. I will show that, due to the role of epistemological beliefs in science, no general agreement can be found on this matter. Hence, the complexity of the construction of sciences must be acknowledged. I illustrate these claims with a recent historical example. Finally I temperate this diversity (...)
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  20. added 2018-08-19
    From Models to Simulations.Franck Varenne - 2018 - London, UK: Routledge.
    This book analyses the impact computerization has had on contemporary science and explains the origins, technical nature and epistemological consequences of the current decisive interplay between technology and science: an intertwining of formalism, computation, data acquisition, data and visualization and how these factors have led to the spread of simulation models since the 1950s. -/- Using historical, comparative and interpretative case studies from a range of disciplines, with a particular emphasis on the case of plant studies, the author shows how (...)
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  21. added 2018-04-10
    The Nature of Computational Things.Franck Varenne - 2013 - In Frédéric Migayrou Brayer & Marie-Ange (eds.), Naturalizing Architecture. Orléans: HYX Editions. pp. 96-105.
    Architecture often relies on mathematical models, if only to anticipate the physical behavior of structures. Accordingly, mathematical modeling serves to find an optimal form given certain constraints, constraints themselves translated into a language which must be homogeneous to that of the model in order for resolution to be possible. Traditional modeling tied to design and architecture thus appears linked to a topdown vision of creation, of the modernist, voluntarist and uniformly normative type, because usually (mono)functionalist. One available instrument of calculation/representation/prescription (...)
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  22. added 2018-01-06
    Simulation informatique et pluriformalisation des objets composites.Franck Varenne - 2009 - Philosophia Scientae 13:135-154.
    A recent evolution of computer simulations has led to the emergence of complex computer simulations. In particular, the need to formalize composite objects (those objects that are composed of other objects) has led to what the author suggests calling pluriformalizations, i.e. formalizations that are based on distinct sub-models which are expressed in a variety of heterogeneous symbolic languages. With the help of four case-studies, he shows that such pluriformalizations enable to formalize distinctly but simultaneously either different aspects or different parts (...)
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  23. added 2017-06-14
    Imagination: A Sine Qua Non of Science.Michael T. Stuart - 2017 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy (49):9-32.
    What role does the imagination play in scientific progress? After examining several studies in cognitive science, I argue that one thing the imagination does is help to increase scientific understanding, which is itself indispensable for scientific progress. Then, I sketch a transcendental justification of the role of imagination in this process.
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  24. added 2016-03-17
    Network Representation and Complex Systems.Charles Rathkopf - 2018 - Synthese (1).
    In this article, network science is discussed from a methodological perspective, and two central theses are defended. The first is that network science exploits the very properties that make a system complex. Rather than using idealization techniques to strip those properties away, as is standard practice in other areas of science, network science brings them to the fore, and uses them to furnish new forms of explanation. The second thesis is that network representations are particularly helpful in explaining the properties (...)
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  25. added 2015-10-14
    Heuristics, Descriptions, and the Scope of Mechanistic Explanation.Carlos Zednik - 2015 - In P. Braillard & C. Malaterre (eds.), Explanation in Biology. An Enquiry into the Diversity of Explanatory Patterns in the Life Sciences. Dordrecht: Springer. pp. 295-318.
    The philosophical conception of mechanistic explanation is grounded on a limited number of canonical examples. These examples provide an overly narrow view of contemporary scientific practice, because they do not reflect the extent to which the heuristic strategies and descriptive practices that contribute to mechanistic explanation have evolved beyond the well-known methods of decomposition, localization, and pictorial representation. Recent examples from evolutionary robotics and network approaches to biology and neuroscience demonstrate the increasingly important role played by computer simulations and mathematical (...)
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  26. added 2015-06-07
    Humanities’ Metaphysical Underpinnings of Late Frontier Scientific Research.Alcibiades Malapi-Nelson - 2014 - Humanities 214 (3):740-765.
    The behavior/structure methodological dichotomy as locus of scientific inquiry is closely related to the issue of modeling and theory change in scientific explanation. Given that the traditional tension between structure and behavior in scientific modeling is likely here to stay, considering the relevant precedents in the history of ideas could help us better understand this theoretical struggle. This better understanding might open up unforeseen possibilities and new instantiations, particularly in what concerns the proposed technological modification of the human condition. The (...)
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  27. added 2015-04-27
    Evaluating Artificial Models of Cognition.Marcin Miłkowski - 2015 - Studies in Logic, Grammar and Rhetoric 40 (1):43-62.
    Artificial models of cognition serve different purposes, and their use determines the way they should be evaluated. There are also models that do not represent any particular biological agents, and there is controversy as to how they should be assessed. At the same time, modelers do evaluate such models as better or worse. There is also a widespread tendency to call for publicly available standards of replicability and benchmarking for such models. In this paper, I argue that proper evaluation ofmodels (...)
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  28. added 2014-09-16
    Reverse-Engineering in Cognitive-Science.Marcin Miłkowski - 2013 - In Marcin Miłkowski & Konrad Talmont-Kaminski (eds.), Regarding Mind, Naturally. Cambridge Scholars Press. pp. 12-29.
    I discuss whether there are some lessons for philosophical inquiry over the nature of simulation to be learnt from the practical methodology of reengineering. I will argue that reengineering serves a similar purpose as simulations in theoretical science such as computational neuroscience or neurorobotics, and that the procedures and heuristics of reengineering help to develop solutions to outstanding problems of simulation.
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  29. added 2014-03-26
    Agent-Based Modeling and the Fallacies of Individualism.Brian Epstein - 2011 - In Paul Humphreys & Cyrille Imbert (eds.), Models, Simulations, and Representations. Routledge. pp. 115444.
    Agent-​​based modeling is showing great promise in the social sciences. However, two misconceptions about the relation between social macroproperties and microproperties afflict agent-based models. These lead current models to systematically ignore factors relevant to the properties they intend to model, and to overlook a wide range of model designs. Correcting for these brings painful trade-​​offs, but has the potential to transform the utility of such models.
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  30. added 2014-01-22
    Experimental Modeling in Biology: In Vivo Representation and Stand-Ins As Modeling Strategies.Marcel Weber - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (5):756-769.
    Experimental modeling in biology involves the use of living organisms (not necessarily so-called "model organisms") in order to model or simulate biological processes. I argue here that experimental modeling is a bona fide form of scientific modeling that plays an epistemic role that is distinct from that of ordinary biological experiments. What distinguishes them from ordinary experiments is that they use what I call "in vivo representations" where one kind of causal process is used to stand in for a physically (...)
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  31. added 2013-03-25
    Framework for Models and Simulations with Agents in Regard to Agent Simulations in Social Sciences: Emulation and Simulation.Franck Varenne - 2010 - In Alexandre Muzy, David R. C. Hill & Bernard P. Zeigler (eds.), Activity-Based Modeling and Simulation. Presses Universitaires Blaise-Pascal.
    The aim of this paper is to discuss the “Framework for M&S with Agents” (FMSA) proposed by Zeigler et al. [2000, 2009] in regard to the diverse epistemological aims of agent simulations in social sciences. We first show that there surely are great similitudes, hence that the aim to emulate a universal “automated modeler agent” opens new ways of interactions between these two domains of M&S with agents. E.g., it can be shown that the multi-level conception at the core of (...)
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  32. added 2013-03-24
    Simulation informatique et pluriformalisation des objets composites.Franck Varenne - 2009 - Philosophia Scientiae 13 (1):135-154.
    A recent evolution of computer simulations has led to the emergence of complex computer simulations. In particular, the need to formalize composite objects (those objects that are composed of other objects) has led to what the author suggests to call pluriformalizations, i.e. formalizations that are based on distinct sub-models which are expressed in a variety of heterogeneous symbolic languages. With the help of four case-studies, he shows that such pluriformalizations enable to formalize distinctly but simultaneously either different aspects or different (...)
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  33. added 2013-03-24
    Émergences par les règles sans « formes de vie » une relecture de Kripke (1982) pour la simulation informatique du vivant.Franck Varenne - 2008 - Noesis 14:201-236.
    Cet article ne se veut pas un commentaire suivi de la réflexion de Wittgenstein sur les règles. Ce ne sera pas non plus un commentaire de l’interprétation que Kripke fait du « suivi de la règle » chez Wittgenstein. Il ne sera pas davantage une application des thèses de Wittgenstein ni une tentative d’application directe d’une interprétation de ces thèses à l’épistémologie de la simulation du vivant ; ce qui serait, en soi, d’ailleurs contestable. Ce travail vise seulement à approfondir (...)
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  34. added 2013-03-24
    La simulation conçue comme expérience concrète.Franck Varenne - 2003 - In Jean-Pierre Müller (ed.), Le statut épistémologique de la simulation. Editions de l'ENST.
    Par un procédé d'objections/réponses, nous passons d'abord en revue certains des arguments en faveur ou en défaveur du caractère empirique de la simulation informatique. A l'issue de ce chemin clarificateur, nous proposons des arguments en faveur du caractère concret des objets simulés en science, ce qui légitime le fait que l'on parle à leur sujet d'une expérience, plus spécifiquement d'une expérience concrète du second genre.
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  35. added 2013-03-23
    Chains of Reference in Computer Simulations.Franck Varenne - 2013 - FMSH Working Papers 51:1-32.
    This paper proposes an extensionalist analysis of computer simulations (CSs). It puts the emphasis not on languages nor on models, but on symbols, on their extensions, and on their various ways of referring. It shows that chains of reference of symbols in CSs are multiple and of different kinds. As they are distinct and diverse, these chains enable different kinds of remoteness of reference and different kinds of validation for CSs. Although some methodological papers have already underlined the role of (...)
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