What types of simulation processes are there?
That is, how does simulation-based mindreading work?
It is to this other type of simulation processes that we now turn.
Simulation Theorists, however, differ over how to answer this question.
Frigg and Reiss (2009) argued that none of these three conditions are new to computer simulation.
We then go on to explain the very idea of mental simulation (section 2: What is Meant by “Mental Simulation”?)
In fact, different Simulation Theorists give different answers to such fundamental questions as: “What is mental simulation?”
No one would mistake a computer simulation of the weather for weather, or a computer simulation of digestion for real digestion.
We will tackle two main issues: the extent to which mindreading is simulation-based, and how simulation-based mindreading works.
Several areas of philosophical interest in computer simulation have emerged: What is the structure of the epistemology of computer simulation?
(Note that Humphreys is here defining computer simulation, not simulation generally, but he is doing it in the spirit of defining a compositional term.)
As mentioned, one of the envisioned applications of NISQ computing is for digital quantum simulation (i.e. simulation using a gate-based programmable quantum computer).
The legitimate force of the critique, then, is not that simulation is inherently untrustworthy but simply that the assumptions of any simulation are always open to further examination.
Although computational instantiations of logic are of an importantly different character, simulation—including agent-based simulation—plays a major role in much of computational philosophy.
Some Simulation Theorists, however, reject this interpretation, since they maintain that there are mindreading events in which mental simulation plays no role at all (Currie & Ravenscroft 2002).
The central question of the epistemology of simulation from an error-statistical perspective becomes, ‘What warrants our taking a computer simulation to be a severe test of some hypothesis about the natural world?
They maintain that many simulation-based mindreading events are (entirely) constituted by mental simulation events (where mental simulation events are simulated mental states or simulation processes).
(For early papers, see Goldman 1989; Gordon 1986; Heal 1986; for recent dissent, see, for example, Carruthers 2009; Gallagher 2007; Saxe 2005, 2009; for an overview of simulation theory, see entry on folk psychology as mental simulation).
Another approach is to try to define “simulation” independently of the notion of computer simulation, and then to define “computer simulation” compositionally: as a simulation that is carried out by a programmed digital computer.
Following Goldman (2006), it has become customary among Simulation Theorists to argue for the existence of two types of simulation processes: high-level simulation processes and low-level simulation processes (see, however, de Vignemont 2009).
- the act of imitating the behavior of some situation or some process by means of something suitably analogous (especially for the purpose of study or personnel training)
- (computer science) the technique of representing the real world by a computer program
Example: a simulation should imitate the internal processes and not merely the results of the thing being simulated
- representation of something (sometimes on a smaller scale)
- the act of giving a false appearance
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