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date: 20 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This article interprets computer simulation modeling as a new type of mathematical modeling that comprises a number of interdependent components, among them experimentation, visualization, and adaptability. Furthermore, it is argued, simulation modeling can be characterized as a particular style of reasoning, namely a combinatorial style, that assembles and balances elements from different other styles. Two examples are discussed that exemplify the transformative force of this style: what counts as “understanding phenomena” and what counts as a “solution.” Both are seminal pieces of traditional mathematical modeling and both are transformed, if not inverted, in simulation modeling. Finally, some challenges are considered that computer simulations pose for philosophy of science.

Keywords: computer, computer simulations, mathematical modeling, modeling, simulation, style of reasoning

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