, Volume 169, Issue 3, pp 483–496

Does matter really matter? Computer simulations, experiments, and materiality


DOI: 10.1007/s11229-008-9434-3

Cite this article as:
Parker, W.S. Synthese (2009) 169: 483. doi:10.1007/s11229-008-9434-3


A number of recent discussions comparing computer simulation and traditional experimentation have focused on the significance of “materiality.” I challenge several claims emerging from this work and suggest that computer simulation studies are material experiments in a straightforward sense. After discussing some of the implications of this material status for the epistemology of computer simulation, I consider the extent to which materiality (in a particular sense) is important when it comes to making justified inferences about target systems on the basis of experimental results.


Computer simulationExperimentModelsMateriality

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyOhio UniversityAthensUSA