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Exploring Scientific Inquiry via Agent-Based Modeling

Šešelja, Dunja (2020) Exploring Scientific Inquiry via Agent-Based Modeling. [Preprint]

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In this paper I examine the epistemic function of agent-based models (ABMs) of scientific inquiry, proposed in the recent philosophical literature. In view of Boero and Squazzoni's (2005) classification of ABMs into case-based models, typifications and theoretical abstractions, I argue that proposed ABMs of scientific inquiry largely belong to the third category. While this means that their function is primarily exploratory, I suggest that they are epistemically valuable
not only as a temporary stage in the development of ABMs of science, but by providing insights into theoretical aspects of scientific rationality. I illustrate my point with two examples of highly idealized ABMs of science, which perform two exploratory functions: Zollman's (2010) ABM which provides a proof-of-possibility in the realm of theoretical discussions on scientific rationality, and ArgABM (Borg et al., 2017b, 2018a,b), which provides insights into potential mechanisms underlying the efficiency of scientific inquiry.

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Item Type: Preprint
Šešelja, Dunjadunja.seselja@lrz.uni-muenchen.de0000-0001-5679-5787
Additional Information: Accepted for publication in the special issue of Perspectives on Science “Exploratory Models and Exploratory Modelling in Science”, ed. by Gelfert A., Fisher G. and Steinle F.
Keywords: agent-based models, scientific inquiry, idealizations, robustness analysis
Subjects: General Issues > Models and Idealization
Depositing User: Dr. Dunja Šešelja
Date Deposited: 30 May 2020 17:39
Last Modified: 30 May 2020 17:39
Item ID: 17266
Subjects: General Issues > Models and Idealization
Date: 2020

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