Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Short Communication

Programs, models, theories, and reality

Robert I. Damper a1
a1 Department of Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton, Southampton SO17 1BJ, United Kingdom [email protected]


The question “Are ‘biorobots' good models of biological behaviour?” can be seen as a specific instance of a more general question about the relation between computer programs and models, between models and theories, and between theories and reality. This commentary develops a personal view of these relations, from an antirealism perspective. Programs, models, theories and reality are separate and distinct entities which may converge in particular cases but should never be confused.