Beyond Telling: Where New Computational Media is Taking Model-Based Reasoning

  • Sanjay Chandrasekharan
Conference paper
Part of the Studies in Applied Philosophy, Epistemology and Rational Ethics book series (SAPERE, volume 27)


The emergence of new computational media is radically changing the practices of science, particularly in the way computational models are built and used to understand and engineer complex biological systems. These new practices present a novel variation of model-based reasoning (MBR), based on dynamic and opaque models. A new cognitive account of MBR is needed to understand the nature of this practice and its implications. To develop such an account, I first outline two cases where the building and use of computational models led to discoveries. A theoretical model of the possible cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying such discoveries is then presented, based on the way the body schema is extended during tool use. This account suggests that the process of building the computational model gradually ‘incorporates’ the external model as a part of the internal imagination system, similar to the way tools are incorporated into the body schema through their active use. A central feature of this incorporation account is the critical role played by tacit and implicit reasoning. Based on this account, I examine how computational modeling would change model-based reasoning in science and science education.


Science Education Intentional Action Procedural Knowledge Rubber Hand Declarative Knowledge 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Learning Sciences Research Group, Homi Bhabha Centre for Science EducationTata Institute of Fundamental ResearchMumbaiIndia

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