Synthese 199 (3-4):10865-10884 (2021)

Celso Neto
Dalhousie University
In this paper, I show how idealizations contribute to social activities in science, such as the recruitment of experts to a research project. These contributions have not been explicitly discussed by recent philosophical accounts of scientific idealization. These accounts have focused on how idealizations influence activities like scientific theorization, explanation, and modeling. Other accounts focus on how idealizations influence policy-making and science communication. I expand these accounts by exploring the uses of idealized phylogenetic trees in science. Trees are not only useful for improving our understanding and public communication of evolutionary history, but they also help with the organization of laboratories and collaboration among scientists. Attending to the relation between idealizations and these social practices in science matters. It can help us understand why idealized models become entrenched and why certain social practices change over time.
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-021-03271-9
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How the Laws of Physics Lie.Nancy Cartwright - 1983 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
True Enough.Catherine Z. Elgin - 2017 - Cambridge: MIT Press.

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