Idealizations and Partitions: A Defense of Robustness Analysis

European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (4):1-15 (2021)
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Abstract

We argue that the robustness analysis of idealized models can have confirmational power. This responds to concerns recently raised in the literature, according to which the robustness analysis of models whose idealizations are not discharged is unable to confirm the causal mechanisms underlying these models, and the robustness analysis of models whose idealizations are discharged is unnecessary. In response, we make clear that, where idealizations sweep out, in a specific way, the space of possibilities— which is sometimes, though not always, the case—they can be holistically discharged. In turn, this can be used to show that the robustness analysis of idealized models can have confirmational force after all.

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Armin W. Schulz
University of Kansas

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Idealization and the Aims of Science.Angela Potochnik - 2017 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
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