Iteration Unleashed. Computer Technology in Science
Lenhard, Johannes
Lenhard
Johannes
Does computer technology play a philosophically relevant role in science? The answer to this question is explored by focusing on the conception of mathematical modeling, how this conception is modified in computational modeling, and how this change is related to computer technology. The main claim states that computational modeling is geared towards iterative procedures which replace complicated or even intractable integrations. This shift is not a mere technicality, but presents a major conceptual transformation of modeling. At the same time, it is argued, the form and function of iterative procedures are dependent on the available computer technology.
A number of different cases, among them the SchrÃ¶dinger equation in quantum chemistry and Markov chain Monte Carlo methods, are discussed that span iterative strategies in pre-computer, mainframe, and desktop-computer time. In methodological respect, bracketed iterations are discerned from exploratory iterations. Opacity and agnosticism are discussed as epistemic ramifications of the shift towards iterations.
18
113-130
113-130
Springer Science + Business Media
2015