Authors
Alfonso Arroyo-Santos
National Autonomous University of Mexico
Abstract
In this paper we present a new framework of idealization in biology. We characterize idealizations as a network of counterfactual and hypothetical conditionals that can exhibit different “degrees of contingency”. We use this idea to say that, in departing more or less from the actual world, idealizations can serve numerous epistemic, methodological or heuristic purposes within scientific research. We defend that, in part, this structure explains why idealizations, despite being deformations of reality, are so successful in scientific practice. For illustrative purposes, we provide an example from population genetics, the Wright-Fisher Model.
Keywords Idealization  Possible worlds  Wright-Fisher controversy
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DOI 10.1007/s10838-012-9185-1
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References found in this work BETA

Counterfactuals.David Kellogg Lewis - 1973 - Cambridge, MA, USA: Blackwell.
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Citations of this work BETA

Constructing Reality with Models.Tee Sim-Hui - 2019 - Synthese 196 (11):4605-4622.
Holistic Idealization: An Artifactual Standpoint.Tarja Knuuttila & Natalia Carrillo - 2022 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 91:49-59.
Mechanisms and Generative Material Models.Sim-Hui Tee - 2019 - Synthese 198 (7):6139-6157.

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The Structure of Idealization in Biological Theories: The Case of the Wright-Fisher Model. [REVIEW]Xavier Donato Rodríguez & Alfonso Arroyo Santos - 2012 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 43 (1):11-27.
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