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Making models count

Philosophy of Science 75 (3):383-404 (2008)

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  1. The Dappled World: A Study of the Boundaries of Science.Nancy Cartwright - 1999 - Cambridge University Press.
    It is often supposed that the spectacular successes of our modern mathematical sciences support a lofty vision of a world completely ordered by one single elegant theory. In this book Nancy Cartwright argues to the contrary. When we draw our image of the world from the way modern science works - as empiricism teaches us we should - we end up with a world where some features are precisely ordered, others are given to rough regularity and still others behave in (...)
  • Nature's Capacities and Their Measurement.Nancy Cartwright - 1989 - Oxford University Press.
    Ever since David Hume, empiricists have barred powers and capacities from nature. In this book Cartwright argues that capacities are essential in our scientific world, and, contrary to empiricist orthodoxy, that they can meet sufficiently strict demands for testability. Econometrics is one discipline where probabilities are used to measure causal capacities, and the technology of modern physics provides several examples of testing capacities (such as lasers). Cartwright concludes by applying the lessons of the book about capacities and probabilities to the (...)
  • The Scientific Image.C. Van Fraassen Bas - 1980 - Oxford University Press.
    In this book van Fraassen develops an alternative to scientific realism by constructing and evaluating three mutually reinforcing theories.
  • The Inexact and Separate Science of Economics.Daniel M. Hausman - 1992 - Cambridge University Press.
    This book offers a comprehensive overview of the structure, strategy and methods of assessment of orthodox theoretical economics. In Part I Professor Hausman explains how economists theorise, emphasising the essential underlying commitment of economists to a vision of economics as a separate science. In Part II he defends the view that the basic axioms of economics are 'inexact' since they deal only with the 'major' causes; unlike most writers on economic methodology, the author argues that it is the rules that (...)
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  • Models as Mediators: Perspectives on Natural and Social Science.Mary S. Morgan & Margaret Morrison (eds.) - 1999 - Cambridge University Press.
    Models as Mediators discusses the ways in which models function in modern science, particularly in the fields of physics and economics. Models play a variety of roles in the sciences: they are used in the development, exploration and application of theories and in measurement methods. They also provide instruments for using scientific concepts and principles to intervene in the world. The editors provide a framework which covers the construction and function of scientific models, and explore the ways in which they (...)
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  • Explaining Science: A Cognitive Approach.Ronald N. Giere - 1988 - Philosophical Review 100 (4):653-656.
  • Reply to Eells, Humphreys and Morrison.Nancy Cartwright - 1995 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 55 (1):177 - 187.
  • Robustness Analysis.Michael Weisberg - 2006 - Philosophy of Science 73 (5):730-742.
    Modelers often rely on robustness analysis, the search for predictions common to several independent models. Robustness analysis has been characterized and championed by Richard Levins and William Wimsatt, who see it as central to modern theoretical practice. The practice has also been severely criticized by Steven Orzack and Elliott Sober, who claim that it is a nonempirical form of confirmation, effective only under unusual circumstances. This paper addresses Orzack and Sober's criticisms by giving a new account of robustness analysis and (...)
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