Simulation and the Sense of Understanding

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Kuorikoski, Jaakko
conference paper description
Whether simulation models provide the right kind of understanding comparable to that of analytic models has been and remains a contentious issue. The assessment of understanding provided by simulations is often hampered by a conflation between the sense of understanding and understanding proper. This paper presents a deflationist conception of understanding and argues for the need to replace appeals to the sense of understanding with explicit criteria of explanatory relevance and for rethinking the proper way of conceptualizing the role of a single human mind in the collective scientific understanding.