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

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Holism, or the Degeneration of Modularity – a Methodological Challenge for Validation

Modularity is a key concept in building and evaluating complex models, in particular simulation models. My main claim is: in simulation modeling, modularity is eroding for systematic methodological reasons. The argument will proceed by analyzing the techniques of parameterization, tuning, and kludging. This makes it hard, if not impossible, to access what role the representational (inner mathematical) structure of the models plays regarding the dynamical properties of the model. The resulting problem for validating models is one of holism. Finally, I will explore the ramifications for model validation.

Author Information:

Johannes Lenhard    
Bielefeld University, Germany


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