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We argue for the existence of analogue simulation as a novel form of scientific inference with the potential to be confirmatory. This notion is distinct from the modes of analogical reasoning detailed in the literature, and draws inspiration from fluid dynamical ‘dumb hole’ analogues to gravitational black holes. For that case, which is considered in detail, we defend the claim that the phenomena of gravitational Hawking radiation could be confirmed in the case that its counterpart is detected within experiments conducted on diverse realisations of the analogue model. A prospectus is given for further potential cases of analogue simulation in contemporary science.


Karim Thébault is currently an assistant professor at the Munich Centre for Mathematical Philosophy, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU). His research is principally within the philosophy of physics with a particular emphasis on time and symmetry in classical and quantum theories of gravity. He is also interested in structural realism, probability in quantum mechanics, and the relationship between analytical mechanics and quantum theory.

He did his PhD at Centre for Time, University of Sydney, under the supervision of Huw Price and Dean Rickles. He also have an MSc in theoretical physics from Imperial College London, and a joint honours BA in philosophy and physics from the University of Oxford.

Read more about Karim Thébault.

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