David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Foundations of Science 11 (4):349-368 (2006)
To study Earth’s climate, scientists now use a variety of computer simulation models. These models disagree in some of their assumptions about the climate system, yet they are used together as complementary resources for investigating future climatic change. This paper examines and defends this use of incompatible models. I argue that climate model pluralism results both from uncertainty concerning how to best represent the climate system and from difficulties faced in evaluating the relative merits of complex models. I describe how incompatible climate models are used together in ‘multi-model ensembles’ and explain why this practice is reasonable, given scientists’ inability to identify a ‘best’ model for predicting future climate. Finally, I characterize climate model pluralism as involving both an ontic competitive pluralism and a pragmatic integrative pluralism.
|Keywords||climate change computer simulation models pluralism uncertainty|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
Sandra D. Mitchell (2002). Integrative Pluralism. Biology and Philosophy 17 (1):55-70.
Citations of this work BETA
Eric Hochstein (2015). Giving Up on Convergence and Autonomy: Why the Theories of Psychology and Neuroscience Are Codependent as Well as Irreconcilable. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A:1-19.
Wendy S. Parker (2011). When Climate Models Agree: The Significance of Robust Model Predictions. Philosophy of Science 78 (4):579-600.
Wendy Parker (2014). Values and Uncertainties in Climate Prediction, Revisited. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 46:24-30.
Johannes Lenhard & Eric Winsberg (2010). Holism, Entrenchment, and the Future of Climate Model Pluralism. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 41 (3):253-262.
Miles MacLeod & Nancy J. Nersessian (2013). Building Simulations From the Ground Up: Modeling and Theory in Systems Biology. Philosophy of Science 80 (4):533-556.
Similar books and articles
R. J. (2000). T. C. Chamberlin, Climate Change, and Cosmogony. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 31 (3):293-308.
Elisabeth A. Lloyd (2009). Varieties of Support and Confirmation of Climate Models. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 83 (1):213-232.
Gregor Betz (2009). Underdetermination, Model-Ensembles and Surprises: On the Epistemology of Scenario-Analysis in Climatology. [REVIEW] Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 40 (1):3 - 21.
James C. Wimbush & Jon M. Shepard (1994). Toward an Understanding of Ethical Climate: Its Relationship to Ethical Behavior and Supervisory Influence. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 13 (8):637 - 647.
William M. Goodwin (2015). Global Climate Modeling as Applied Science. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 46 (2):339-350.
Elisabeth A. Lloyd (2010). Conﬁrmation and Robustness of Climate Models. Philosophy of Science 77 (5):971–984.
Gabriele Gramelsberger (2011). What Do Numerical (Climate) Models Really Represent? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 42 (2):296-302.
Deborah Vidaver-Cohen (1998). Moral Climate in Business Firms: A Conceptual Framework for Analysis and Change. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 17 (11):1211-1226.
William Goodwin (2009). How Does the Theologizing of Physics Contribute to Global Warming? Environmental Philosophy 6 (2):21-42.
Wendy S. Parker (2009). Confirmation and Adequacy-for-Purpose in Climate Modelling. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 83 (1):233-249.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads46 ( #79,305 of 1,780,627 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #165,698 of 1,780,627 )
How can I increase my downloads?