Keynote Speakers



Mark Bedau is Professor of Philosophy at Reed College, Visiting Professor at the European School of Molecular Medicine, COO of ProtoLife, and Editor-in Chief of Artificial Life. His principal research interests are in the philosophy of biology, especially artificial life and emergence.

Title: The role of computer simulation in weak emergence

Abstract: Bedau's concept of weak emergence was originally defined (1997, 2003) by reference to macroscopic states of dynamical systems that are underivable except by simulation. The definition directly links weak emergence to what can be produced in computer simulations. Weak emergence has more recently been defined by reference to incompressible explanations (Bedau 2008). Since the new definition does not refer to simulations, it opens the question whether simulation has any deep connection with weak emergence. This talk answers that question, by explaining that computer simulations play a new and crucial role in current explanations of real and simulated complex adaptive systems that have weak emergent macro behavior. In general, weak emergent phenomena can be explained only by empirically studying the generic behavior of computer simulations. The talk is illustrated with examples of computer simulations in artificial life.

Patrick Suppes is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Psychology, Statistics, and Education at Stanford University. In 1990 he was awarded the National Medal of Science and in 2003 the Lakatos Award for his book Representation and Invariance of Scientific Structures. His current research centers on neuroscience.

Title: Models and Simulations in Brain Experiments