Authors
Alexander Rueger
University of Alberta
Abstract
Given that scientific realism is based on the assumption that there is a connection between a model's predictive success and its truth, and given the success of multiple incompatible models in scientific practice, the realist has a problem. When the different models can be shown to arise as different approximations to a unified theory, however, one might think the realist to be able to accommodate such cases. I discuss a special class of models and argue that a realist interpretation has to understand these models of a system as ‘ perspectival ’, in close analogy to different spatial perspectives onto the same object. For this sort of case, I also respond to Morrison's recent claim that in the process of unifying models into an overarching theory, explanatory and descriptive power are lost, leaving the unified theory with less of a claim to a realist interpretation than the models themselves. Introduction Perspectival models from singular perturbation problems Unification of perspectives without losses of explanatory power Perspectives as different levels of a system Perspectival models, idealizations and pluralism
Keywords Realism   Philosophy of Science   Explanation
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DOI 10.1093/bjps/axi128
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References found in this work BETA

How the Laws of Physics Lie.Nancy Cartwright - 1983 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
How the Laws of Physics Lie.Malcolm R. Forster - 1985 - Philosophy of Science 52 (3):478-480.
Twilight of the Perfect Model Model.Paul Teller - 2001 - Erkenntnis 55 (3):393-415.
Two Concepts of Intertheoretic Reduction.Thomas Nickles - 1973 - Journal of Philosophy 70 (April):181-201.

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Citations of this work BETA

Perspectival Modeling.Michela Massimi - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (3):335-359.
Two Kinds of Exploratory Models.Michela Massimi - 2019 - Philosophy of Science 86 (5):869-881.
One Phenomenon, Many Models: Inconsistency and Complementarity.Margaret Morrison - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 42 (2):342-351.
On the Import of Constraints in Complex Dynamical Systems.Cliff Hooker - 2013 - Foundations of Science 18 (4):757-780.
One Phenomenon, Many Models: Inconsistency and Complementarity.Margaret Morrison - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 42 (2):342-351.

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