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Simulation without Replication: How Some Digital Computer Simulations Serve as Scientific Experiments

Lee Mayo

ISBN 10: 3848489023 / ISBN 13: 9783848489022
Published by LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing, 2012
Condition: Good Soft cover
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Title: Simulation without Replication: How Some ...

Publisher: LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing

Publication Date: 2012

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition: Good

About this title


Philosophers and historians of science have only recently begun to seriously consider issues involving the use of computer simulations in scientific practice. A tacit assumption that has emerged in the extant literature is that empirical theory testing is the only form of theory guided experimentation. This discourse undermines that assumption by introducing a new experimental genre – the “Kuhnian” experiment. Kuhnian experiments do not test theory, but rather assume the adequacy of some scientific theory in order to solve empirical puzzles in scientific fields where the theory is already well articulated and fully accepted. Such puzzles arise as a result of the theoretical equations describing the physical phenomenon in question being analytically intractable. One way scientists solve these puzzles is through computer simulation. Historical case studies are presented as examples of this sort of experimental puzzle solving for two types of computing technology: analog computers (the network analyzer) and digital computers (particle diffusion using the Monte Carlo method).

About the Author:

Dr. Lee Allen Mayo holds a Ph.D. in History and Philosophy of Science (HPS) from the University of Notre Dame with particular emphasis in simulation, experimentation, and instrumentation. Research interests also include science and technology studies (STS) and history and philosophy of technology.

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