Reliability without Truth

in Science in the Age of Computer Simulation

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780226902029
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226902050 | DOI:
Reliability without Truth

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This chapter examines the source of credibility of computer simulation models. It suggests that the practice of using fictions in building credible simulations is worthy of closer scrutiny by philosophers of science interested in the various arguments for and against scientific realism. The chapter analyzes two examples of fictions from the field of computational fluid dynamics—so-called artificial viscosity and vorticity confinement—arguing that these kinds of model-building techniques are counterexamples to the doctrine that success implies truth.

Keywords: computer simulation models; credibility; philosophers of science; scientific realism; artificial viscosity; vorticity confinement; model-building techniques

Chapter.  6298 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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