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Reliability without Truth

Reliability without Truth

Chapter:
(p.120) Seven Reliability without Truth
Source:
Science in the Age of Computer Simulation
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226902050.003.0007

This chapter examines the source of credibility of computer simulation models. It suggests that the practice of using fictions in building credible simulations is worthy of closer scrutiny by philosophers of science interested in the various arguments for and against scientific realism. The chapter analyzes two examples of fictions from the field of computational fluid dynamics—so-called artificial viscosity and vorticity confinement—arguing that these kinds of model-building techniques are counterexamples to the doctrine that success implies truth.

Keywords:   computer simulation models, credibility, philosophers of science, scientific realism, artificial viscosity, vorticity confinement, model-building techniques

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