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Atoosa Kasirzadeh – “Computer simulations and the production of new pragmatic knowledge in social sciences”
October 24, 2018 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Please join us for our October colloquialism, where Atoosa Kasirzadeh will be presenting his paper, “Computer simulations and the production of new pragmatic knowledge in social sciences.” Lunch will be provided!
Abstract: The question of whether and if so how, computer simulations are engaged in the production of new knowledge has been subject to an on-going debate in the philosophy of science. This question has been mainly investigated concerning the connection between data and knowledge. The main idea is that because data is the building block of knowledge, it is new data which is transformed into new knowledge. Therefore, to understand whether computer simulation is engaged in the generation of new knowledge, we need to understand whether it generates genuinely new data. In this paper, I argue that the emphasis on the production of new data does not exhaust all the ways in which computer simulations play a role in the production of new knowledge. In particular, I show that in certain social scientific inquiries such as health economics, computer simulations engage in the production of new pragmatic knowledge for action.