Graduate studies at Western
|Abstract||Recent work in the domain of the validation of complex computational models reveals that modelers of complex systems, particularly modelers of the earth’s climate, face a deeply entrenched form of confirmation holism. Confirmation holism, as it is traditionally understood, is the thesis that a single hypothesis cannot be tested in isolation, but that such tests always depend on other theories or hypothesis. It is always this collection of theories and hypotheses as a whole, says the thesis, that confront the tribunal of experience. But in contrast to the way the problem of confirmation holism is typically understood in the philosophy of science, the problems faced by climate scientists are not merely logical problems, and nor are they confined to the role of anything that can suitably be called auxiliary hypotheses. Rather, they are deep and entrenched problems that confront the scientist who works with models whose component parts interact in such a complex manner, and have such a complex history, that the scientist is unable to evaluate the worth of the parts in isolation.|
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