Graduate studies at Western
Biology and Philosophy 26 (5):717-736 (2011)
|Abstract||The paper explores how, in economics and biology, theoretical models are used as explanatory devices. It focuses on a modelling strategy by which, instead of starting with an unexplained regularity in the world, the modeller begins by creating a credible model world. The model world exhibits a regularity, induced by a mechanism in that world. The modeller concludes that there may be a part of the real world in which a similar regularity occurs and that, were that the case, the model would offer an explanation. Little concrete guidance is given about where such a regularity might be found. Three modelling exercises in evolutionary game theory—one from economics and two from biology—are used as case studies. Two of these (one from each discipline) exemplify ‘explanation in search of observation’. The third goes a step further, analysing a regularity in a model world and treating it as informative about the real world, but without saying anything about real phenomena. The paper argues that if the relation between the model and real worlds is understood in terms of similarity, and if modelling is understood as an ongoing discovery process rather than as the demonstration of empirical truths, there can be value in creating explanations before finding the regularities that are to be explained|
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
Robert Sugden (2000). Credible Worlds: The Status of Theoretical Models in Economics. Journal of Economic Methodology 7 (1):1-31.
Robert Sugden (2009). Credible Worlds, Capacities and Mechanisms. Erkenntnis 70 (1):3 - 27.
Holly Andersen (2012). The Case for Regularity in Mechanistic Causal Explanation. Synthese 189 (3):415-432.
Ulrich Krohs (2008). How Digital Computer Simulations Explain Real-World Processes. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 22 (3):277 – 292.
N. Emrah Aydinonat (2007). Models, Conjectures and Exploration: An Analysis of Schelling's Checkerboard Model of Residential Segregation. Journal of Economic Methodology 14 (4):429-454.
Steven Rappaport (1995). Economic Models and Historical Explanation. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 25 (4):421-441.
Peter Rodenburg (2005). Models as Measuring Instruments: Measurement of Duration Dependence of Unemployment. Journal of Economic Methodology 12 (3):407-431.
Charles Unwin (2008). An Object Model for Use in Oral and Written Advocacy. Artificial Intelligence and Law 16 (4):389-402.
Holly Andersen (2011). Mechanisms, Laws, and Regularities. Philosophy of Science 78 (2):325-331.
Evan K. Jobe (1985). Explanation, Causality, and Counterfactuals. Philosophy of Science 52 (3):357-389.
Thomas J. Dohmen (2002). Building and Using Economic Models: A Case Study Analysis of the IS-LL Model. Journal of Economic Methodology 9 (2):191-212.
Added to index2011-06-10
Total downloads25 ( #55,921 of 754,681 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #63,372 of 754,681 )
How can I increase my downloads?