Computer simulations are an exciting tool that plays important roles in many scientific disciplines. This has attracted the attention of a number of philoso- phers of science. The main tenor in this literature is that computer simulations not only constitute interesting and powerful new science , but that they also raise a host of new philosophical issues. The protagonists in this debate claim no less than that sim- ulations call into question our philosophical understanding of scientific ontology, the epistemology and semantics of models and theories, and the relation between exper- imentation and theorising, and submit that simulations demand a fundamentally new philosophy of science in many respects. The aim of this paper is to critically evaluate these claims. Our conclusion will be sober. We argue that these claims are overblown and that simulations, far from demanding a new metaphysics, epistemology, seman- tics and methodology, raise few if any new philosophical problems. The philosophical problems that do come up in connection with simulations are not specific to simu- lations and most of them are variants of problems that have been discussed in other contexts before.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Simulation, ·, Models, ·, Computer experiments, ·, Representation, ·, Epistemology of simulation
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11229-009-9577-x, hdl.handle.net/1765/103837
Journal Synthese
Citation
Reiss, J.P, & Frigg, R. (2008). The philosophy of simulation: hot new topics or same old stew?. Synthese, 3(169), 593–613. doi:10.1007/s11229-009-9577-x