Agent-Based Modeling in Philosophy
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Agent-Based Modeling in Philosophy
11-13 December, 2014
CAS@LMU 

Idea and Motivation

In the past two decades, agent-based models (ABMs) have become ubiquitous in philosophy and various sciences.  ABMs have been applied, for example, to study the evolution of norms and language, to understand migration patterns of past civilizations, to investigate how population levels change in ecosystems over time, and more.  In contrast with classical economic models or population-level models in biology, ABMs are praised for their lack of assumptions and their flexibility.  Nonetheless, many of the methodological and epistemological questions raised by ABMs have yet to be fully articulated and answered.  For example, there are unresolved debates about how to test (or "validate") ABMs, about the scope of their applicability in philosophy and the sciences, and about their implications or our understanding of reduction, emergence, and complexity in the sciences.  This conference aims to bring together an interdisciplinary group of researchers aimed at understanding the foundations of agent-based modeling and how the practice can inform and be informed by philosophy.

Topics of the conference will include, but will not be limited to:

  • Advantages and disadvantages of agent-based models in relation to classical economic and biological models
  • Testing and/or "validating" agent-based models
  • How agent-based models inform discussions of reduction and/or emergence in the sciences
  • Agent-based models and complexity
  • Applications of ABMs in philosophy, which may include, but is not limited to, investigating the evolution of norms and/or language, or the study of dynamics of scientific communities and theory/paradigm change