The Science and Art of Simulation I



The new book series “The Science and Art of Simulation” (SAS) addresses computer simulations as a scientific activity and engineering artistry (in the sense of a technē). The first volume is devoted to three topics:

1. The Art of Exploring Computer Simulations

Philosophy began devoting attention to computer simulations at a relatively early stage. Since then, the unquestioned point of view has been that computer simulation is a new scientific method; the philosophy of simulation is therefore part of the philosophy of science. The first section of this volume discusses this implicit, unchallenged assumption by addressing, from different perspectives, the question of how to explore (and how not to explore) research on computer simulations. Scientists discuss what is still lacking or considered problematic, while philosophers draft new directions for research, and both examine the art of exploring computer simulations.

2. The Art of Understanding Computer Simulations

The results of computer simulations are integrated into both political and social decisions. It is implicitly assumed that the more detailed, and consequently more realistic, a computer simulation is, the more useful it will be in decision-making. However, this idea is by no means justified. Different types of computer simulations have to be differentiated, which in turn requires the specific skill of understanding computer simulation results. The articles in this section examine the capabilities and limits of simulation results in political and social contexts, exploring the art of understanding computer simulation results.

3. The Art of Knowing through Computer Simulations?

The advent of computer simulation in today’s scientific practices challenges the order of science. What kind of knowledge is gained through computer simulations is the key question in this section. Computer simulations are often compared to experiments or to arguments, and the transformation of our traditional scientific notions might be more challenging than expected – these Ideas are put forward in the third section to conceptualize the art of knowing through computer simulations.


Introduction (Michael M. Resch, Andreas Kaminski, and Petra Gehring)

Part I The Art of Exploring Computer Simulations

Doing Research on Simulation Sciences? Questioning Methodologies and Disciplinarities (Petra Gehring)

On the Missing Coherent Theory of Simulation (Michael M. Resch)

The Art of Staging Simulations: Mise-en-scéne, Social Impact, and Simulation Literacy (Bruno Gransche)

Myths of Simulation (Björn Schembera)

Part II The Art of Understanding Computer Simulations

Understanding Social Science Simulations: Distinguishing Two Categories of Simulations (Nicole J. Saam)

Seven Problems with Massive Simulation Models for Policy Decision-Making (Till Grüne-Yanoff)

Between Knowledge and Action: Conceptualizing Scientific SimulationandPolicy-Making (Dirk Scheer)

Part III The Art of Knowing Through Computer Simulations

Outlines of a Pragmatic Theory of Truth and Error in Computer Simulation (Christoph Hubig and Andreas Kaminski)

The Demon’s Fallacy: Simulation Modeling and a New Style ofReasoning (Johannes Lenhard)

Advancing Knowledge Through Computer Simulations? A Socratic Exercise (Claus Beisbart)

Varieties of Simulations: From the Analogue to the Digita (Juan M. Durán)