München 2019 – scientific programme

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AGPhil: Arbeitsgruppe Philosophie der Physik

AGPhil 3: Philosophy of Cosmology III

AGPhil 3.1: Invited Talk

Tuesday, March 19, 2019, 11:00–11:45, HS 10

What do we actually learn from simulated universes? — •Stéphanie Ruphy — Université de Lyon, France

Computer simulations are everywhere in science today, playing a central epistemic role, especially in the studies of physical objects or processes for which data are very sparse or inexistent. But what can we actually learn about real-world systems from their simulated counterparts? Focusing on cosmological simulations, I will offer a requalification of the type of knowledge produced by simulation enterprises, emphasizing its modal character: simulations do produce useful knowledge about our world, but by telling us what could be or could have been the case, rather than by telling us what is or was actually the case. I will also discuss in this talk to what extent the building of increasingly detailed simulations of real-world phenomena shapes the very aims of science.

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