PSA2016: The 25th Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association

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Symposium: Models and Computer Simulations in Astrophysics

Friday, 4 November 2016
09:00 - 11:45

Augusta F (7th Floor)

Chair: Eric Winsberg, University of South Florida

A vast majority of contemporary cosmology and astrophysics research relies on models to facilitate understanding and gain knowledge about the universe. As a result, astrophysics has reached a stage where a set of key epistemic questions has come to the forefront: What kind of knowledge can be obtained about the universe, and its subsystems through computer models and simulation? What challenges might arise in evaluating our best cosmological models due to their reliance on simulations? There is a clear opportunity for philosophers who have thought about these questions to enter into discussion with scientists, and offer insights that can contribute to progress in this scientific field. In turn, understanding in the ways models and simulations are used in astrophysics will draw attention to new questions that are not represented in current philosophical discussion of models and simulations. As a group of philosophers of science and practicing astrophysicists, we address these questions related to the reliance on models and computer simulations in astrophysics. We examine our conceptions of what constitutes acceptable evidence, reliable inferences, and effective methodology in the context of astrophysics.


Tracing the Path of Justification for LCDM
Melissa Jacquart, University of Western Ontario,
Simplicity and simplifications in astrophysical modelling
Sibylle Anderl, Institut de Plan├ętologie et d'Astrophysique de Grenoble (IPAG),
Modeling Star Formation over Cosmic Time. The Schmidt Law: "Not Even Wrong"
Barry Madore, Carnegie Institution for Science,
Observing the Invisible
Michael Weisberg, University of Pennsylvania,
Selective Realism and Inverse Methods
Paul Humphreys, University of Virginia,

 

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