Buyer beware: robustness analyses in economics and biology

Biology and Philosophy 26 (5):757-771 (2011)

Authors
Anna Alexandrova
Cambridge University
Abstract
Theoretical biology and economics are remarkably similar in their reliance on mathematical models, which attempt to represent real world systems using many idealized assumptions. They are also similar in placing a great emphasis on derivational robustness of modeling results. Recently philosophers of biology and economics have argued that robustness analysis can be a method for confirmation of claims about causal mechanisms, despite the significant reliance of these models on patently false assumptions. We argue that the power of robustness analysis has been greatly exaggerated. It is best regarded as a method of discovery rather than confirmation
Keywords Philosophy   Evolutionary Biology   Philosophy of Biology
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10539-011-9278-y
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 38,938
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Explaining Science: A Cognitive Approach.Ronald N. Giere - 1988 - Philosophical Review 100 (4):653-656.
Robustness Analysis.Michael Weisberg - 2006 - Philosophy of Science 73 (5):730-742.

View all 29 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Diverse Aims of Science.Angela Potochnik - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 53:71-80.
The Appeal to Robustness in Measurement Practice.Alessandra Basso - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 65:57-66.
Model Robustness as a Confirmatory Virtue: The Case of Climate Science.Elisabeth A. Lloyd - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 49:58-68.
Robustness Analysis as Explanatory Reasoning.Jonah N. Schupbach - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axw008.

View all 22 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Economic Modelling as Robustness Analysis.J. Kuorikoski, A. Lehtinen & C. Marchionni - 2010 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (3):541-567.
Some Varieties of Robustness.Jim Woodward - 2006 - Journal of Economic Methodology 13 (2):219-240.
Robustness Analysis.Michael Weisberg - 2006 - Philosophy of Science 73 (5):730-742.
Confirmation and Robustness of Climate Models.Elisabeth A. Lloyd - 2010 - Philosophy of Science 77 (5):971–984.
The Robust Volterra Principle.Michael Weisberg & Kenneth Reisman - 2008 - Philosophy of Science 75 (1):106-131.
Unrealistic Assumptions in Rational Choice Theory.Aki Lehtinen & Jaakko Kuorikoski - 2007 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 37 (2):115-138.
Robustness, Discordance, and Relevance.Jacob Stegenga - 2009 - Philosophy of Science 76 (5):650-661.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2011-06-15

Total views
96 ( #73,238 of 2,319,349 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
8 ( #145,421 of 2,319,349 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature