Incredible worlds, credible results

Erkenntnis 70 (1):119 - 131 (2009)
Robert Sugden argues that robustness analysis cannot play an epistemic role in grounding model-world relationships because the procedure is only a matter of comparing models with each other. We posit that this argument is based on a view of models as being surrogate systems in too literal a sense. In contrast, the epistemic importance of robustness analysis is easy to explicate if modelling is viewed as extended cognition, as inference from assumptions to conclusions. Robustness analysis is about assessing the reliability of our extended inferences, and when our confidence in these inferences changes, so does our confidence in the results. Furthermore, we argue that Sugden’s inductive account relies tacitly on robustness considerations.
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    J. Kuorikoski, A. Lehtinen & C. Marchionni (2010). Economic Modelling as Robustness Analysis. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (3):541-567.

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