Validation of Computer Simulations from a Kuhnian Perspective
|2 Kuhn's philosophy of science|
|3 A revolution, but not a Kuhnian revolution: Computer simulations in science|
|4 Validation of Simulations from a Kuhnian perspective|
|4.1 Do computer simulations require a new paradigm of validation?|
|4.2 Validation of simulations and the Duhem-Quine-thesis|
|4.3 Validation of social simulations|
|5 Summary and Conclusions|
Can Kuhn's concept of paradigm illuminate the validation of computer simulations? And, if so, how? In the following, I am going to state several questions that can be raised in this context and then try to give answers to these questions based on the current discussion on computer simulations in the philosophy of science. The questions that in my opinion deserve consideration are:
 Because theory-ladenness of observation is an often misunderstood topic, two remarks are in order: 1) Theory-ladeness of observation as such does not blur the distinction between theory and observation. At worst we have a distinction between pure theory (without any observational component) and theory-laden observation. 2) Theory-ladeness of observation does not lead to a vicious circle when confirming theories by empirical observation. This is true, as long as the observations are not laden with the particular theories for the confirmation of which they are used. - There are areas in science where no sharp distinction between theoretical reasoning and reporting of observations is made. However, as far as computer simulations are concerned, it is clear that because Turing Machines do not make observations, a computer program is always a theoretical entity - notwithstanding the fact that a computer program may represent an empirical setting or make use of empirical data. In the latter respect it can be compared with a physical theory that may in fact represent empirical reality as well as contain natural constants (i.e. empirical data).
 See also chapter 37 (Beisbart 2019) in this volume.