The structure of tradeoffs in model building

Synthese 170 (1):169 - 190 (2009)
Abstract
Despite their best efforts, scientists may be unable to construct models that simultaneously exemplify every theoretical virtue. One explanation for this is the existence of tradeoffs: relationships of attenuation that constrain the extent to which models can have such desirable qualities. In this paper, we characterize three types of tradeoffs theorists may confront. These characterizations are then used to examine the relationships between parameter precision and two types of generality. We show that several of these relationships exhibit tradeoffs and discuss what consequences those tradeoffs have for theoretical practice.
Keywords Tradeoff  Model  Modeling  Biological models  Richard Levins  Generality  Precision  Theoretical virtues
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 10,316
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Stephen M. Downes (1992). The Importance of Models in Theorizing: A Deflationary Semantic View. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1992:142 - 153.
Philip Kitcher (1981). Explanatory Unification. Philosophy of Science 48 (4):507-531.

View all 12 references

Citations of this work BETA
Angela Potochnik (2012). Feminist Implications of Model-Based Science. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 43 (2):383-389.
John Matthewson (2011). Trade-Offs in Model-Building: A More Target-Oriented Approach. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 42 (2):324-333.

View all 9 citations

Similar books and articles
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

95 ( #11,351 of 1,096,447 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

6 ( #33,652 of 1,096,447 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.