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Agent-Based Simulation and Sociological Understanding
University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5237-9695
2014 (English)In: Perspectives on Science, ISSN 1063-6145, E-ISSN 1530-9274, Vol. 22, p. 318-335Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The article discusses agent-based simulation as a tool of sociological understanding. Based on aninferential account of understanding, it argues that computer simulations increase ourexplanatory understanding both by expanding our ability to make what-if inferences about socialprocesses and by making these inferences more reliable. However, our ability to understandsimulations limits our ability to understand real world phenomena through them. ThomasSchelling’s checkerboard model of ethnic segregation is used to demonstrate the important roleplayed by abstract how-possibly models in the process of building a mechanistic understandingof social phenomena.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
MIT Press, 2014. Vol. 22, p. 318-335
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-148454DOI: 10.1162/POSC_a_00136OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-148454DiVA, id: diva2:1216336
Available from: 2018-06-11 Created: 2018-06-11 Last updated: 2018-06-11

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fulltext(302 kB)95 downloads
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Ylikoski, Petri

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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
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  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf