Vasquez, Margarita with Javier Aracil and Manuel Liz, "Some Conceptual Problems in the System Dynamics Models Building Process", 1990

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System modeling and simulation is a complex technological activity, which methodological and conceptual analysis could suggest some new and interesting perspectives about the philosophical subject of the relationships between knowledge and reality.Of the three kinds of knowledge involved in the system dynamics model building process (mental models, reference modes and operational knowledge), mental models look like specially important, because they let us to express the ideas we have about the internal interactions we find in a real system and that produce a known behavior. From this mental model, we build the formal model, the system dynamics model.But, after that, it is very difficult to find out formal restrictions that let us to select a single model, because a behavior can be generated by different structures ( Searle 1980,1984; Zeigler 1976,1984). The internal realism of Hilary Putnam (Putnam 1981,1983,1987) allows us to understand why there is not an unique model able to pick up every single aspect of a real system and to clarify the interactive character of the modeling process and the important role that mental models, as a kind of knowledge, play.

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  • 1990
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