Chapter

Computational Science

Paul Humphreys

in Extending Ourselves

Published in print August 2004 | ISBN: 9780195158700
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199785964 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195158709.003.0003
Computational Science

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Computational science involves a new kind of scientific method. The concepts of a computational template and a computational model are introduced as alternatives to scientific theories and laws, and it is shown how the construction process for templates allows us to hold a selective form of scientific realism. There is an important distinction between the process of construction and the process of adjustment for templates, and the latter is not subject to many conventionalist objections. Templates provide a way of re-organizing the sciences, but subject-specific knowledge is still needed to use them effectively. The important role of syntax in templates argues against the semantic account of theories.

Keywords: computational science; laws; model; realism; semantic account of theories; scientific method; syntax; template; theories

Chapter.  22810 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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