Levins and the lure of artificial worlds.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


What is it about simulation models that has led some practitioners to treat them as potential sources of empirical data on the real-world systems being simulated; that is, to treat simulations as 'artificial worlds' within which to perform computational 'experiments'? Here we use the work of Richard Levins as a starting point in identifying the appeal of this model building strategy, and proceed to account for why this appeal is strongest for computational modellers. This analysis suggests a perspective on simulation modelling that makes room for 'artificial worlds' as legitimate science without having to accept that they should be treated as sources of empirical data.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-320
Number of pages19
JournalThe Monist
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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