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Extending OurselvesComputational Science, Empiricism, and Scientific Method$
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Paul Humphreys

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195158700

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0195158709.001.0001

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Computational Science

Computational Science

Chapter:
Computational Science
Source:
Extending Ourselves
Author(s):

Paul Humphreys (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0195158709.003.0003

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

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