The “Structure” of the “Strategy”: Looking at the Matthewson-Weisberg Trade-off and Its Justificatory Role for the Multiple-Models Approach

Philosophy of Science 80 (5):862-873 (2013)
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The multiple-models approach, which has its origins in Levins’s work, is gaining broader acceptance among philosophers. Levins asserted that there is a trade-off between modeling desiderata, which justified the multiple-models approach through two separate justificatory paths. Some attention has been paid to the trade-off thesis, culminating in a paper by Matthewson and Weisberg. However, no attention has been paid to how the trade-off is supposed to justify the multiple-models approach. I argue that a trade-off between generality and precision cannot support one of Levins’s justificatory paths, and I consider what that might mean for the multiple-models approach



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Michael Goldsby
Washington State University

References found in this work

Explanation and scientific understanding.Michael Friedman - 1974 - Journal of Philosophy 71 (1):5-19.
Three Kinds of Idealization.Michael Weisberg - 2007 - Journal of Philosophy 104 (12):639-659.
The strategy of model-based science.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2006 - Biology and Philosophy 21 (5):725-740.
Who is a Modeler?Michael Weisberg - 2007 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 58 (2):207-233.

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