Certainty and Domain-Independence in the Sciences of Complexity: a Critique of James Franklin's Account of Formal Science

Abstract
James Franklin has argued that the formal, mathematical sciences of complexity — network theory, information theory, game theory, control theory, etc. — have a methodology that is different from the methodology of the natural sciences, and which can result in a knowledge of physical systems that has the epistemic character of deductive mathematical knowledge. I evaluate Franklin’s arguments in light of realistic examples of mathematical modelling and conclude that, in general, the formal sciences are no more able to guarantee certainty than the natural sciences. Yet the formal sciences are characterized by a ‘domain-independence’ that is philosophically interesting, and I argue that it is this property that Franklin actually employs to distinguish the formal from the natural sciences. I use Einstein’s ‘principle’/‘constructive’ theory distinction to contrast the domain-independence of physical theories with the domain-independence of formal mathematical theories, and show how both kinds of domain-independence function to generate the domain-independence that is observed in the complex systems sciences. © 1999 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Translate to english
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 30,694
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Structure and Domain-Independence in the Formal Sciences.James Franklin - 1999 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 30:721-723.
The Formal Sciences Discover the Philosophers' Stone.James Franklin - 1994 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 25 (4):513-533.
Objects and Structures in the Formal Sciences.Emily Grosholz - 1992 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1992:251 - 260.
Mathematics in the Biological Sciences.Not By Me - 1992 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 6 (3):241 – 248.
Added to PP index
2010-12-22

Total downloads
10 ( #444,043 of 2,197,196 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #298,376 of 2,197,196 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature