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Alkistis Elliott-Graves
Bielefeld University
  1. Idealization.Alkistis Elliott-Graves & Michael Weisberg - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (3):176-185.
    This article reviews the recent literature on idealization, specifically idealization in the course of scientific modeling. We argue that idealization is not a unified concept and that there are three different types of idealization: Galilean, minimalist, and multiple models, each with its own justification. We explore the extent to which idealization is a permanent feature of scientific representation and discuss its implications for debates about scientific realism.
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  2.  19
    Generality and Causal Interdependence in Ecology.Alkistis Elliott-Graves - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (5):1102-1114.
    A hallmark of ecological research is dealing with complexity in the systems under investigation. One strategy is to diminish this complexity by constructing models and theories that are general. Alternatively, ecologists can constrain the scope of their generalizations to particular phenomena or types of systems. However, research employing the second strategy is often met with scathing criticism. I offer a theoretical argument in support of moderate generalizations in ecological research, based on the notions of interdependence and causal heterogeneity and their (...)
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    The Problem of Prediction in Invasion Biology.Alkistis Elliott-Graves - 2016 - Biology and Philosophy 31 (3):373-393.
    Invasion biology is a relatively young discipline which is important, interesting and currently in turmoil. Biological invaders can threaten native ecosystems and global biodiversity; they can incur massive economic costs and even introduce diseases. Invasion biologists generally agree that being able to predict when and where an invasion will occur is essential for progress in their field. However, successful predictions of this type remain elusive. This has caused a rift, as some researchers are pessimistic and believe that invasion biology has (...)
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    What is a Target System?Alkistis Elliott-Graves - 2020 - Biology and Philosophy 35 (2):1-22.
    Many phenomena in the natural world are complex, so scientists study them through simplified and idealised models. Philosophers of science have sought to explain how these models relate to the world. On most accounts, models do not represent the world directly, but through target systems. However, our knowledge of target systems is incomplete. First, what is the process by which target systems come about? Second, what types of entity are they? I argue that the basic conception of target systems, on (...)
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    The Value of Imprecise Prediction.Alkistis Elliott-Graves - 2020 - Philosophy Theory and Practice in Biology 4 (12).
    The traditional philosophy of science approach to prediction leaves little room for appreciating the value and potential of imprecise predictions. At best, they are considered a stepping stone to more precise predictions, while at worst they are viewed as detracting from the scientific quality of a discipline. The aim of this paper is to show that imprecise predictions are undervalued in philosophy of science. I review the conceptions of imprecise predictions and the main criticisms levelled against them: (i) that they (...)
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  6.  13
    The Future of Predictive Ecology.Alkistis Elliott-Graves - 2019 - Philosophical Topics 47 (1):65-82.
    Prediction is an important aspect of scientific practice, because it helps us to confirm theories and effectively intervene on the systems we are investigating. In ecology, prediction is a controversial topic: even though the number of papers focusing on prediction is constantly increasing, many ecologists believe that the quality of ecological predictions is unacceptably low, in the sense that they are not sufficiently accurate sufficiently often. Moreover, ecologists disagree on how predictions can be improved. On one side are the ‘theory-driven’ (...)
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    Abstract and Complete.Alkistis Elliott-Graves - unknown
    There are two notions of abstraction that are often confused. The material view implies that the products of abstraction are not concrete. It is vulnerable to the criticism that abstracting introduces misrepresentations to the system, hence abstraction is indistinguishable from idealization. The omission view fares better against this criticism because it does not entail that abstract objects are non-physical and because it asserts that the way scientists abstract is different to the way they idealize. Moreover, the omission view better captures (...)
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  8.  4
    Review of Defending Biodiversity: Environmental Science and Ethics (2017), Cambridge University Press.Alkistis Elliott-Graves - 2018 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.