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Minds and Machines

, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 251–254 | Cite as

Eric Winsberg: Science in the Age of Computer Simulation

The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL, 2010, 168 pp., $ 24.00 (paper), ISBN: 978-0-226-90204-3
  • Stefan Gruner
Book Review
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Before the advent of sufficiently powerful computing machinery, the practice of science took place on a bi-polar spectrum between rationalism and empirism, between theory and experiment. Theory commanded support from mathematics and ideal speculation; experiments commanded support from technical instruments and material skills. All the scientific-philosophical contributions and discourses prior to the actual availability of computers find their places somewhere on the line of that bi-polar spectrum—some of them more on the side of rationalism, others more on the side of empirism. Since computers have equipped us with the new possibility of programming and executing computer simulations (or software simulations) as quasi-experiments “in silicio”, a new “dimension” has possibly been “added” to the hitherto bi-polar spectrum between rationalism and empirism. In the new “universe of discourse” on this topic, the following philosophical positions can be conceived:
  • Conservative: Computer...

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of PretoriaPretoriaSouth Africa

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