In Elisabeth A. Lloyd & Eric Winsberg (eds.), Climate Modelling: Philosophical and Conceptual Issues. Springer Verlag. pp. 137-173 (2018)

Authors
Elisabeth Lloyd
Indiana University, Bloomington
Abstract
Climate scientists have been engaged in a decades-long debate over the standing of satellite measurements of the temperature trends of the atmosphere above the surface of the earth. This is especially significant because skeptics of global warming and the greenhouse effect have utilized this debate to spread doubt about global climate models used to predict future states of climate. I use this case from an understudied science to illustrate two distinct philosophical approaches to the relations among data, scientist, measurement, models, and theory. I argue that distinguishing between “direct” empiricist and “complex” empiricist approaches helps us understand and analyze this important scientific episode. I introduce a complex empiricist account of testing and evaluation, and contrast it with the basic hypothetico-deductive approach to the climate models used by the direct empiricists. This more developed complex empiricist approach will serve philosophy of science well, as computational models become more widespread in the sciences.
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DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-65058-6_6
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