Approximation

Edited by Angela Potochnik (University of Cincinnati)
Assistant editor: Guilherme Sanches De Oliveira (University of Cincinnati)
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  1. added 2019-02-15
    Generalizing Empirical Adequacy II: Partial Structures.Sebastian Lutz - manuscript
    The companion piece to this article captures and generalizes empirical adequacy in terms of vagueness sets. In this article, I show that previous attempts to capture and generalize empirical adequacy in terms of partial structures fail. Indeed, the motivations for the partial structures approach are better met by vagueness sets, which can be used to generalize the partial structure approach.
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  2. added 2018-10-28
    Stochastic Stability and Disagreements Between Dynamics.Aydin Mohseni - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science.
    The replicator dynamics and Moran process are the main deterministic and stochastic models of evolutionary game theory. These models are connected by a mean-field relationship—the former describes the expected behavior of the latter. However, there are conditions under which their predictions diverge. I demonstrate that the divergence between their predictions is a function of standard techniques used in their analysis, and of differences in the idealizations involved in each. My analysis reveals problems for stochastic stability analysis in a broad class (...)
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  3. added 2018-10-25
    Infinite Idealizations in Physics.Elay Shech - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (9):e12514.
    In this essay, I provide an overview of the debate on infinite and essential idealizations in physics. I will first present two ostensible examples: phase transitions and the Aharonov– Bohm effect. Then, I will describe the literature on the topic as a debate between two positions: Essentialists claim that idealizations are essential or indispensable for scientific accounts of certain physical phenomena, while dispensabilists maintain that idealizations are dispensable from mature scientific theory. I will also identify some attempts at finding a (...)
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  4. added 2018-09-09
    Minimal Approximations and Norton’s Dome.Samuel C. Fletcher - forthcoming - Synthese.
    In this note, I apply Norton’s (Philos Sci 79(2):207–232, 2012) distinction between idealizations and approximations to argue that the epistemic and inferential advantages often taken to accrue to minimal models (Batterman in Br J Philos Sci 53:21–38, 2002) could apply equally to approximations, including “infinite” ones for which there is no consistent model. This shows that the strategy of capturing essential features through minimality extends beyond models, even though the techniques for justifying this extended strategy remain similar. As an application (...)
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  5. added 2017-12-12
    Idealizations and Approximations in Physics.Robert John Schwartz - 1978 - Philosophy of Science 45 (4):595-603.
  6. added 2017-12-06
    A Unified Theory of Granularity, Vagueness and Approximation.Thomas Bittner & Barry Smith - 2001 - In COSIT Workshop on Spatial Vagueness, Uncertainty and Granularity. pp. 39.
    Abstract: We propose a view of vagueness as a semantic property of names and predicates. All entities are crisp, on this semantic view, but there are, for each vague name, multiple portions of reality that are equally good candidates for being its referent, and, for each vague predicate, multiple classes of objects that are equally good candidates for being its extension. We provide a new formulation of these ideas in terms of a theory of granular partitions. We show that this (...)
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  7. added 2017-11-08
    Approximation Representations for Δ2 Reals.George Barmpalias - 2004 - Archive for Mathematical Logic 43 (8):947-964.
    We study Δ2 reals x in terms of how they can be approximated symmetrically by a computable sequence of rationals. We deal with a natural notion of ‘approximation representation’ and study how these are related computationally for a fixed x. This is a continuation of earlier work; it aims at a classification of Δ2 reals based on approximation and it turns out to be quite different than the existing ones (based on information content etc.).
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  8. added 2017-04-07
    Quasi-Factive Belief and Knowledge-Like States.Michel J. Shaffer - forthcoming - Lexington Books.
    This book is addresses a topic that has received little or no attention in orthodox epistemology. Typical epistemological investigation focuses almost exclusively on knowledge, where knowing that something is the case importantly implies that what is believed is strictly true. This condition on knowledge is known as factivity and it is, to be sure, a bit of epistemological orthodoxy. So, if a belief is to qualify as knowledge according to the orthodox view it cannot be false. There is also an (...)
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  9. added 2016-10-25
    Novel Approaches to Models. [REVIEW]Adam Toon - 2010 - Metascience 19 (2):285-288.
    This paper is a review of Suarez, M. (ed.) Fictions in Science (Routledge).
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  10. added 2016-09-15
    Abstract and Complete.Alkistis Elliott-Graves - unknown
    There are two notions of abstraction that are often confused. The material view implies that the products of abstraction are not concrete. It is vulnerable to the criticism that abstracting introduces misrepresentations to the system, hence abstraction is indistinguishable from idealization. The omission view fares better against this criticism because it does not entail that abstract objects are non-physical and because it asserts that the way scientists abstract is different to the way they idealize. Moreover, the omission view better captures (...)
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  11. added 2015-02-21
    Vague Reference and Approximating Judgements.Thomas Bittner & Barry Smith - 2003 - Spatial Cognition and Computation 3 (2):137–156.
    We propose a new account of vagueness and approximation in terms of the theory of granular partitions. We distinguish different kinds of crisp and non-crisp granular partitions and we describe the relations between them, concentrating especially on spatial examples. We describe the practice whereby subjects use regular grid-like reference partitions as a means for tempering the vagueness of their judgments, and we demonstrate how the theory of reference partitions can yield a natural account of this practice, which is referred to (...)
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  12. added 2014-11-04
    Approximate Truth, Quasi-Factivity, and Evidence.Michael J. Shaffer - 2015 - Acta Analytica 30 (3):249-266.
    The main question addressed in this paper is whether some false sentences can constitute evidence for the truth of other propositions. In this paper it is argued that there are good reasons to suspect that at least some false propositions can constitute evidence for the truth of certain other contingent propositions. The paper also introduces a novel condition concerning propositions that constitute evidence that explains a ubiquitous evidential practice and it contains a defense of a particular condition concerning the possession (...)
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  13. added 2014-04-01
    Generalizing Empirical Adequacy I: Multiplicity and Approximation.Sebastian Lutz - 2014 - Synthese 191 (14):3195-3225.
    I provide an explicit formulation of empirical adequacy, the central concept of constructive empiricism, and point out a number of problems. Based on one of the inspirations for empirical adequacy, I generalize the notion of a theory to avoid implausible presumptions about the relation of theoretical concepts and observations, and generalize empirical adequacy with the help of approximation sets to allow for lack of knowledge, approximations, and successive gain of knowledge and precision. As a test case, I provide an application (...)
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  14. added 2014-03-18
    Approximations, Idealizations, and Models in Statistical Mechanics.Chuang Liu - 2001 - Erkenntnis 60 (2):235-263.
    In this paper, a criticism of the traditional theories of approximation and idealization is given as a summary of previous works. After identifying the real purpose and measure of idealization in the practice of science, it is argued that the best way to characterize idealization is not to formulate a logical model – something analogous to Hempel's D-N model for explanation – but to study its different guises in the praxis of science. A case study of it is then made (...)
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  15. added 2014-03-04
    Approximations, Idealizations and 'Experiments' at the Physics-Biology Interface.Darrell Patrick Rowbottom - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 42 (2):145-154.
    This paper, which is based on recent empirical research at the University of Leeds, the University of Edinburgh, and the University of Bristol, presents two difficulties which arise when condensed matter physicists interact with molecular biologists: (1) the former use models which appear to be too coarse-grained, approximate and/or idealized to serve a useful scientific purpose to the latter; and (2) the latter have a rather narrower view of what counts as an experiment, particularly when it comes to computer simulations, (...)
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  16. added 2013-04-09
    Simulation and Similarity: Using Models to Understand the World.Michael Weisberg - 2013 - Oxford University Press.
    one takes to be the most salient, any pair could be judged more similar to each other than to the third. Goodman uses this second problem to showthat there can be no context-free similarity metric, either in the trivial case or in a scientifically ...
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  17. added 2013-01-29
    E Does Not Equal K.Michael J. Shaffer - 2013 - The Reasoner 7:30-31.
    This paper challenges Williamson's "E = K" thesis on the basis of evidential practice. The main point is that most evidence is only approximately true and so cannot be known if knowledge is factive.
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  18. added 2012-12-01
    Moorean Sentences and the Norm of Assertion.Michael J. Shaffer - 2012 - Logos and Episteme 3 (4):653-658.
    In this paper Timothy Williamson’s argument that the knowledge norm of assertion is the best explanation of the unassertability of Morrean sentences is challenged and an alternative account of the norm of assertion is defended.
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  19. added 2012-05-31
    Degree of Explanation.Robert Northcott - 2013 - Synthese 190 (15):3087-3105.
    Partial explanations are everywhere. That is, explanations citing causes that explain some but not all of an effect are ubiquitous across science, and these in turn rely on the notion of degree of explanation. I argue that current accounts are seriously deficient. In particular, they do not incorporate adequately the way in which a cause’s explanatory importance varies with choice of explanandum. Using influential recent contrastive theories, I develop quantitative definitions that remedy this lacuna, and relate it to existing measures (...)
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  20. added 2012-05-11
    Not-Exact-Truths, Pragmatic Encroachment and the Epistemic Norm of Practical Reasoning.Michael J. Shaffer - 2012 - Logos and Episteme 3 (2):239-259.
    Recently a number of variously motivated epistemologists have argued that knowledge is closely tied to practical matters. On the one hand, radical pragmatic encroachment is the view that facts about whether an agent has knowledge depend on practical factors and this is coupled to the view that there is an important connection between knowledge and action. On the other hand, one can argue for the less radical thesis only that there is an important connection between knowledge and practical reasoning. So, (...)
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  21. added 2011-01-21
    The Ramsey Principle and The Principle of Informational Equilibrium.Michael J. Shaffer - 2011 - The Reasoner 5 (3):37-39.
    This paper challenges the soundness of an argument given in support of a Ramseyan analysis of belief defended by Dokic and Engel in their 2001 book.
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