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  1. Strategies of Model-Building in Condensed Matter Physics: Trade-Offs as a Demarcation Criterion Between Physics and Biology?Axel Gelfert - 2013 - Synthese 190 (2):253-272.
    This paper contrasts and compares strategies of model-building in condensed matter physics and biology, with respect to their alleged unequal susceptibility to trade-offs between different theoretical desiderata. It challenges the view, often expressed in the philosophical literature on trade-offs in population biology, that the existence of systematic trade-offs is a feature that is specific to biological models, since unlike physics, biology studies evolved systems that exhibit considerable natural variability. By contrast, I argue that the development of ever more sophisticated experimental, (...)
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  • Loop Analysis and Qualitative Modeling: Limitations and Merits. [REVIEW]James Justus - 2006 - Biology and Philosophy 21 (5):647-666.
    Richard Levins has advocated the scientific merits of qualitative modeling throughout his career. He believed an excessive and uncritical focus on emulating the models used by physicists and maximizing quantitative precision was hindering biological theorizing in particular. Greater emphasis on qualitative properties of modeled systems would help counteract this tendency, and Levins subsequently developed one method of qualitative modeling, loop analysis, to study a wide variety of biological phenomena. Qualitative modeling has been criticized for being conceptually and methodologically problematic. As (...)
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