Buyer beware: robustness analyses in economics and biology

Biology and Philosophy 26 (5):757-771 (2011)
Theoretical biology and economics are remarkably similar in their reliance on mathematical models, which attempt to represent real world systems using many idealized assumptions. They are also similar in placing a great emphasis on derivational robustness of modeling results. Recently philosophers of biology and economics have argued that robustness analysis can be a method for confirmation of claims about causal mechanisms, despite the significant reliance of these models on patently false assumptions. We argue that the power of robustness analysis has been greatly exaggerated. It is best regarded as a method of discovery rather than confirmation
Keywords Philosophy   Evolutionary Biology   Philosophy of Biology
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DOI 10.1007/s10539-011-9278-y
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References found in this work BETA
Michael Weisberg (2006). Robustness Analysis. Philosophy of Science 73 (5):730-742.

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Citations of this work BETA
Joel Katzav (2014). The Epistemology of Climate Models and Some of its Implications for Climate Science and the Philosophy of Science. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 46 (2):228-238.
Angela Potochnik (forthcoming). The Diverse Aims of Science. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A.

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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.
Jim Woodward (2006). Some Varieties of Robustness. Journal of Economic Methodology 13 (2):219-240.
Michael Weisberg (2006). Robustness Analysis. Philosophy of Science 73 (5):730-742.

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