124 found
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  1. Models in Science (2nd edition).Roman Frigg & Stephan Hartmann - 2021 - The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Models are of central importance in many scientific contexts. The centrality of models such as inflationary models in cosmology, general-circulation models of the global climate, the double-helix model of DNA, evolutionary models in biology, agent-based models in the social sciences, and general-equilibrium models of markets in their respective domains is a case in point (the Other Internet Resources section at the end of this entry contains links to online resources that discuss these models). Scientists spend significant amounts of time building, (...)
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  2. Who’s Afraid of Nagelian Reduction?Foad Dizadji-Bahmani, Roman Frigg & Stephan Hartmann - 2010 - Erkenntnis 73 (3):393-412.
    We reconsider the Nagelian theory of reduction and argue that, contrary to a widely held view, it is the right analysis of intertheoretic reduction. The alleged difficulties of the theory either vanish upon closer inspection or turn out to be substantive philosophical questions rather than knock-down arguments.
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  3. .Roman Frigg & James Nguyen - 2016
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  4. Models and fiction.Roman Frigg - 2007 - Synthese 172 (2):251-268.
    Most scientific models are not physical objects, and this raises important questions. What sort of entity are models, what is truth in a model, and how do we learn about models? In this paper I argue that models share important aspects in common with literary fiction, and that therefore theories of fiction can be brought to bear on these questions. In particular, I argue that the pretence theory as developed by Walton (1990, Mimesis as make-believe: on the foundations of the (...)
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  5.  39
    Modelling Nature. An Opinionated Introduction to Scientific Representation.Roman Frigg & James Nguyen - 2020 - New York: Springer.
    This monograph offers a critical introduction to current theories of how scientific models represent their target systems. Representation is important because it allows scientists to study a model to discover features of reality. The authors provide a map of the conceptual landscape surrounding the issue of scientific representation, arguing that it consists of multiple intertwined problems. They provide an encyclopaedic overview of existing attempts to answer these questions, and they assess their strengths and weaknesses. The book also presents a comprehensive (...)
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  6. Capturing the scientific imagination.Fiora Salis & Roman Frigg - 2019 - In Arnon Levy & Peter Godfrey-Smith (eds.), The Scientific Imagination. New York, US: Oup Usa.
  7. The fiction view of models reloaded.Roman Frigg & James Nguyen - 2016 - The Monist 99 (3):225-242.
    In this paper we explore the constraints that our preferred account of scientific representation places on the ontology of scientific models. Pace the Direct Representation view associated with Arnon Levy and Adam Toon we argue that scientific models should be thought of as imagined systems, and clarify the relationship between imagination and representation.
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  8. Scientific representation and the semantic view of theories.Roman Frigg - 2006 - Theoria 21 (1):49-65.
    It is now part and parcel of the official philosophical wisdom that models are essential to the acquisition and organisation of scientific knowledge. It is also generally accepted that most models represent their target systems in one way or another. But what does it mean for a model to represent its target system? I begin by introducing three conundrums that a theory of scientific representation has to come to terms with and then address the question of whether the semantic view (...)
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  9. Models and representation.Roman Frigg & James Nguyen - 2017 - In Lorenzo Magnani & Tommaso Bertolotti (eds.), Springer Handbook of Model-Based Science. Springer. pp. 49-102.
    Scientific discourse is rife with passages that appear to be ordinary descriptions of systems of interest in a particular discipline. Equally, the pages of textbooks and journals are filled with discussions of the properties and the behavior of those systems. Students of mechanics investigate at length the dynamical properties of a system consisting of two or three spinning spheres with homogenous mass distributions gravitationally interacting only with each other. Population biologists study the evolution of one species procreating at a constant (...)
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  10. Everything you always wanted to know about structural realism but were afraid to ask.Roman Frigg & Ioannis Votsis - 2011 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 1 (2):227-276.
    Everything you always wanted to know about structural realism but were afraid to ask Content Type Journal Article Pages 227-276 DOI 10.1007/s13194-011-0025-7 Authors Roman Frigg, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method, London School of Economics and Political Science, Houghton Street, London, WC2A 2AE UK Ioannis Votsis, Philosophisches Institut, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Universitätsstraße 1, Geb. 23.21/04.86, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany Journal European Journal for Philosophy of Science Online ISSN 1879-4920 Print ISSN 1879-4912 Journal Volume Volume 1 Journal Issue Volume 1, Number 2.
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  11. Scientific representation.Roman Frigg & James Nguyen - 2016 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Science provides us with representations of atoms, elementary particles, polymers, populations, genetic trees, economies, rational decisions, aeroplanes, earthquakes, forest fires, irrigation systems, and the world’s climate. It's through these representations that we learn about the world. This entry explores various different accounts of scientific representation, with a particular focus on how scientific models represent their target systems. As philosophers of science are increasingly acknowledging the importance, if not the primacy, of scientific models as representational units of science, it's important to (...)
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  12. The Best Humean System for Statistical Mechanics.Roman Frigg & Carl Hoefer - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (S3):551-574.
    Classical statistical mechanics posits probabilities for various events to occur, and these probabilities seem to be objective chances. This does not seem to sit well with the fact that the theory’s time evolution is deterministic. We argue that the tension between the two is only apparent. We present a theory of Humean objective chance and show that chances thus understood are compatible with underlying determinism and provide an interpretation of the probabilities we find in Boltzmannian statistical mechanics.
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  13. A field guide to recent work on the foundations of statistical mechanics.Roman Frigg - 2008 - In Dean Rickles (ed.), The Ashgate Companion to Contemporary Philosophy of Physics. Ashgate. pp. 99-196.
    This is an extensive review of recent work on the foundations of statistical mechanics.
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  14. The philosophy of simulation: hot new issues or same old stew?Roman Frigg & Julian Reiss - 2009 - Synthese 169 (3):593-613.
    Computer simulations are an exciting tool that plays important roles in many scientific disciplines. This has attracted the attention of a number of philosophers of science. The main tenor in this literature is that computer simulations not only constitute interesting and powerful new science , but that they also raise a host of new philosophical issues. The protagonists in this debate claim no less than that simulations call into question our philosophical understanding of scientific ontology, the epistemology and semantics of (...)
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  15. The turn of the valve: representing with material models.Roman Frigg & James Nguyen - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 8 (2):205-224.
    Many scientific models are representations. Building on Goodman and Elgin’s notion of representation-as we analyse what this claim involves by providing a general definition of what makes something a scientific model, and formulating a novel account of how they represent. We call the result the DEKI account of representation, which offers a complex kind of representation involving an interplay of, denotation, exemplification, keying up of properties, and imputation. Throughout we focus on material models, and we illustrate our claims with the (...)
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  16. .Charlotte Werndl & Roman Frigg - 2016
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  17. Confirmation and Reduction: a Bayesian Account.Foad Dizadji-Bahmani, Roman Frigg & Stephan Hartmann - 2011 - Synthese 179 (2):321-338.
    Various scientific theories stand in a reductive relation to each other. In a recent article, we have argued that a generalized version of the Nagel-Schaffner model (GNS) is the right account of this relation. In this article, we present a Bayesian analysis of how GNS impacts on confirmation. We formalize the relation between the reducing and the reduced theory before and after the reduction using Bayesian networks, and thereby show that, post-reduction, the two theories are confirmatory of each other. We (...)
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  18.  11
    A field guide to recent work on the foundations of statistical mechanics.Roman Frigg - 2008 - In Dean Rickles (ed.), The Ashgate Companion to Contemporary Philosophy of Physics. Ashgate. pp. 99-196.
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  19.  56
    Mirrors without warnings.Roman Frigg & James Nguyen - 2019 - Synthese 198 (3):2427-2447.
    Veritism, the position that truth is necessary for epistemic acceptability, seems to be in tension with the observation that much of our best science is not, strictly speaking, true when interpreted literally. This generates a paradox: truth is necessary for epistemic acceptability; the claims of science have to be taken literally; much of what science produces is not literally true and yet it is acceptable. We frame Elgin’s project in True Enough as being motivated by, and offering a particular resolution (...)
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  20. Determinism and Chance from a Humean Perspective.Roman Frigg & Carl Hoefer - 2010 - In Thomas Uebel, Stephan Hartmann, Wenceslao Gonzalez, Marcel Weber, Dennis Dieks & Friedrich Stadler (eds.), The Present Situation in the Philosophy of Science. Springer. pp. 351--72.
    On the face of it ‘deterministic chance’ is an oxymoron: either an event is chancy or deterministic, but not both. Nevertheless, the world is rife with events that seem to be exactly that: chancy and deterministic at once. Simple gambling devices like coins and dice are cases in point. On the one hand they are governed by deterministic laws – the laws of classical mechanics – and hence given the initial condition of, say, a coin toss it is determined whether (...)
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  21.  60
    Fiction and scientific representation.Roman Frigg - 2010 - In .
    Understanding scientific modelling can be divided into two sub-projects: analysing what model-systems are, and understanding how they are used to represent something beyond themselves. The first is a prerequisite for the second: we can only start analysing how representation works once we understand the intrinsic character of the vehicle that does the representing. Coming to terms with this issue is the project of the first half of this chapter. My central contention is that models are akin to places and characters (...)
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  22. Laplace's demon and the adventures of his apprentices.Roman Frigg, Seamus Bradley, Hailiang Du & Leonard A. Smith - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (1):31-59.
    The sensitive dependence on initial conditions (SDIC) associated with nonlinear models imposes limitations on the models’ predictive power. We draw attention to an additional limitation than has been underappreciated, namely, structural model error (SME). A model has SME if the model dynamics differ from the dynamics in the target system. If a nonlinear model has only the slightest SME, then its ability to generate decision-relevant predictions is compromised. Given a perfect model, we can take the effects of SDIC into account (...)
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  23. Rethinking boltzmannian equilibrium.Charlotte Werndl & Roman Frigg - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (5):1224-1235.
    Boltzmannian statistical mechanics partitions the phase space of a sys- tem into macro-regions, and the largest of these is identified with equilibrium. What justifies this identification? Common answers focus on Boltzmann’s combinatorial argument, the Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution, and maxi- mum entropy considerations. We argue that they fail and present a new answer. We characterise equilibrium as the macrostate in which a system spends most of its time and prove a new theorem establishing that equilib- rium thus defined corresponds to the largest (...)
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  24. Explaining Thermodynamic-Like Behavior in Terms of Epsilon-Ergodicity.Roman Frigg & Charlotte Werndl - 2011 - Philosophy of Science 78 (4):628-652.
    Gases reach equilibrium when left to themselves. Why do they behave in this way? The canonical answer to this question, originally proffered by Boltzmann, is that the systems have to be ergodic. This answer has been criticised on different grounds and is now widely regarded as flawed. In this paper we argue that some of the main arguments against Boltzmann's answer, in particular, arguments based on the KAM-theorem and the Markus-Meyer theorem, are beside the point. We then argue that something (...)
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  25.  10
    Fiction and scientific representation.Roman Frigg - 2008 - In Roman Frigg & Matthew Hunter (eds.), Beyond Mimesis and Convention: Representation in Art and Science. Boston Studies in Philosophy of Science. pp. 97-138.
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  26. Typicality and the approach to equilibrium in Boltzmannian statistical mechanics.Roman Frigg - 2009 - Philosophy of Science 76 (5):997-1008.
    An important contemporary version of Boltzmannian statistical mechanics explains the approach to equilibrium in terms of typicality. The problem with this approach is that it comes in different versions, which are, however, not recognized as such and not clearly distinguished. This article identifies three different versions of typicality‐based explanations of thermodynamic‐like behavior and evaluates their respective successes. The conclusion is that the first two are unsuccessful because they fail to take the system's dynamics into account. The third, however, is promising. (...)
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  27. Mathematics is not the only language in the book of nature.James Nguyen & Roman Frigg - 2017 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 24):1-22.
    How does mathematics apply to something non-mathematical? We distinguish between a general application problem and a special application problem. A critical examination of the answer that structural mapping accounts offer to the former problem leads us to identify a lacuna in these accounts: they have to presuppose that target systems are structured and yet leave this presupposition unexplained. We propose to fill this gap with an account that attributes structures to targets through structure generating descriptions. These descriptions are physical descriptions (...)
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  28. Entropy - A Guide for the Perplexed.Roman Frigg & Charlotte Werndl - 2011 - In Claus Beisbart & Stephan Hartmann (eds.), Probabilities in Physics. Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press. pp. 115-142.
    Entropy is ubiquitous in physics, and it plays important roles in numerous other disciplines ranging from logic and statistics to biology and economics. However, a closer look reveals a complicated picture: entropy is defined differently in different contexts, and even within the same domain different notions of entropy are at work. Some of these are defined in terms of probabilities, others are not. The aim of this chapter is to arrive at an understanding of some of the most important notions (...)
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  29.  88
    The philosophy of simulation: hot new issues or same old stew?Roman Frigg & Julian Reiss - 2009 - Synthese 169 (3):593-613.
    Computer simulations are an exciting tool that plays important roles in many scientific disciplines. This has attracted the attention of a number of philosophers of science. The main tenor in this literature is that computer simulations not only constitute interesting and powerful new science, but that they also raise a host of new philosophical issues. The protagonists in this debate claim no less than that simulations call into question our philosophical understanding of scientific ontology, the epistemology and semantics of models (...)
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  30.  37
    Statistical Mechanics: A Tale of Two Theories.Roman Frigg & Charlotte Werndl - 2019 - The Monist 102 (4):424-438.
    There are two theoretical approaches in statistical mechanics, one associated with Boltzmann and the other with Gibbs. The theoretical apparatus of the two approaches offer distinct descriptions of the same physical system with no obvious way to translate the concepts of one formalism into those of the other. This raises the question of the status of one approach vis-à-vis the other. We answer this question by arguing that the Boltzmannian approach is a fundamental theory while Gibbsian statistical mechanics is an (...)
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  31.  60
    The philosophy of simulation: hot new issues or same old stew?Roman Frigg & Julian Reiss - 2011 - Synthese 180 (1):77-77.
    Computer simulations are an exciting tool that plays important roles in many scientific disciplines. This has attracted the attention of a number of philosophers of science. The main tenor in this literature is that computer simulations not only constitute interesting and powerful new science, but that they also raise a host of new philosophical issues. The protagonists in this debate claim no less than that simulations call into question our philosophical understanding of scientific ontology, the epistemology and semantics of models (...)
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  32. Expert Judgment for Climate Change Adaptation.Erica Thompson, Roman Frigg & Casey Helgeson - 2016 - Philosophy of Science 83 (5):1110-1121.
    Climate change adaptation is largely a local matter, and adaptation planning can benefit from local climate change projections. Such projections are typically generated by accepting climate model outputs in a relatively uncritical way. We argue, based on the IPCC’s treatment of model outputs from the CMIP5 ensemble, that this approach is unwarranted and that subjective expert judgment should play a central role in the provision of local climate change projections intended to support decision-making.
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  33.  63
    Models in science.Stephan Hartmann & Roman Frigg - 2014 - In Edward N. Zalta (ed.), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Stanford, CA: The Metaphysics Research Lab.
    Models are of central importance in many scientific contexts. The centrality of models such as the billiard ball model of a gas, the Bohr model of the atom, the MIT bag model of the nucleon, the Gaussian-chain model of a polymer, the Lorenz model of the atmosphere, the Lotka-Volterra model of predator-prey interaction, the double helix model of DNA, agent-based and evolutionary models in the social sciences, or general equilibrium models of markets in their respective domains are cases in point. (...)
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  34. An assessment of the foundational assumptions in high-resolution climate projections: the case of UKCP09.Roman Frigg, Leonard A. Smith & David A. Stainforth - unknown
    The United Kingdom Climate Impacts Programme’s UKCP09 project makes high-resolution projections of the climate out to 2100 by post-processing the outputs of a large-scale global climate model. The aim of this paper is to describe and analyse the methodology used and then urge some caution. Given the acknowledged systematic, shared errors of all current climate models, treating model outputs as decision-relevant projections can be significantly misleading. In extrapolatory situations, such as projections of future climate change, there is little reason to (...)
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  35. The Myopia of Imperfect Climate Models: The Case of UKCP09.Roman Frigg, Leonard A. Smith & David A. Stainforth - 2013 - Philosophy of Science 80 (5):886-897.
    The United Kingdom Climate Impacts Program’s UKCP09 project makes high-resolution forecasts of climate during the 21st century using state of the art global climate models. The aim of this paper is to introduce and analyze the methodology used and then urge some caution. Given the acknowledged systematic errors in all current climate models, treating model outputs as decision relevant probabilistic forecasts can be seriously misleading. This casts doubt on our ability, today, to make trustworthy, high-resolution predictions out to the end (...)
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  36.  63
    Demystifying Typicality.Roman Frigg & Charlotte Werndl - 2012 - Philosophy of Science 79 (5):917-929.
    A gas prepared in a non-equilibrium state will approach equilibrium and stay there. An influential contemporary approach to Statistical Mechanics explains this behaviour in terms of typicality. However, this explanation has been criticised as mysterious as long as no connection with the dynamics of the system is established. We take this criticism as our point of departure. Our central claim is that Hamiltonians of gases which are epsilon-ergodic are typical with respect to the Whitney topology. Because equilibrium states are typical, (...)
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  37. Scientific Models.Stephan Hartmann & Roman Frigg - 2005 - In Sahotra Sarkar et al (ed.), The Philosophy of Science: An Encyclopedia, Vol. 2. Routledge.
    Models are of central importance in many scientific contexts. The roles the MIT bag model of the nucleon, the billiard ball model of a gas, the Bohr model of the atom, the Gaussian-chain model of a polymer, the Lorenz model of the atmosphere, the Lotka- Volterra model of predator-prey interaction, agent-based and evolutionary models of social interaction, or general equilibrium models of markets play in their respective domains are cases in point.
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  38.  13
    Models and theories: a philosophical inquiry.Roman Frigg - 2022 - New York: Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group.
    Models and theories are of central importance in science, and scientists spend substantial amounts of time building, testing, comparing and revising models and theories. It is therefore not surprising that the nature of scientific models and theories has been a widely debated topic within the philosophy of science for many years. The product of two decades of research, in this book Roman Frigg provides an accessible yet critical introduction to the debates about models and theories within analytical philosophy of science (...)
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  39. Making Confident Decisions with Model Ensembles.Joe Roussos, Richard Bradley & Roman Frigg - 2021 - Philosophy of Science 88 (3):439-460.
    Many policy decisions take input from collections of scientific models. Such decisions face significant and often poorly understood uncertainty. We rework the so-called confidence approach to tackle decision-making under severe uncertainty with multiple models, and we illustrate the approach with a case study: insurance pricing using hurricane models. The confidence approach has important consequences for this case and offers a powerful framework for a wide class of problems. We end by discussing different ways in which model ensembles can feed information (...)
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  40. Capturing the scientific imagination.Fiora Salis & Roman Frigg - 2019 - In Arnon Levy & Peter Godfrey-Smith (eds.), The Scientific Imagination. New York, US: Oup Usa.
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  41.  65
    The ergodic hierarchy, randomness and Hamiltonian chaos.Joseph Berkovitz, Roman Frigg & Fred Kronz - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 37 (4):661-691.
    Various processes are often classified as both deterministic and random or chaotic. The main difficulty in analysing the randomness of such processes is the apparent tension between the notions of randomness and determinism: what type of randomness could exist in a deterministic process? Ergodic theory seems to offer a particularly promising theoretical tool for tackling this problem by positing a hierarchy, the so-called ‘ergodic hierarchy’, which is commonly assumed to provide a hierarchy of increasing degrees of randomness. However, that notion (...)
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  42. Reconceptualising equilibrium in Boltzmannian statistical mechanics and characterising its existence.Charlotte Werndl & Roman Frigg - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 49:19-31.
    In Boltzmannian statistical mechanics macro-states supervene on micro-states. This leads to a partitioning of the state space of a system into regions of macroscopically indistinguishable micro-states. The largest of these regions is singled out as the equilibrium region of the system. What justifies this association? We review currently available answers to this question and find them wanting both for conceptual and for technical reasons. We propose a new conception of equilibrium and prove a mathematical theorem which establishes in full generality (...)
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  43.  55
    Models and Representation: Why Structures Are Not Enough.Roman Frigg - manuscript
    Models occupy a central role in the scientific endeavour. Among the many purposes they serve, representation is of great importance. Many models are representations of something else; they stand for, depict, or imitate a selected part of the external world (often referred to as target system, parent system, original, or prototype). Well-known examples include the model of the solar system, the billiard ball model of a gas, the Bohr model of the atom, the Gaussian-chain model of a polymer, the MIT (...)
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    Probability in GRW theory.Roman Frigg & Carl Hoefer - 2007 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 38 (2):371-389.
    GRW Theory postulates a stochastic mechanism assuring that every so often the wave function of a quantum system is `hit', which leaves it in a localised state. How are we to interpret the probabilities built into this mechanism? GRW theory is a firmly realist proposal and it is therefore clear that these probabilities are objective probabilities (i.e. chances). A discussion of the major theories of chance leads us to the conclusion that GRW probabilities can be understood only as either single (...)
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  45. Why typicality does not explain the approach to equilibrium.Roman Frigg - 2011 - In .
    Why do systems prepared in a non-equilibrium state approach, and eventually reach, equilibrium? An important contemporary version of the Boltzmannian approach to statistical mechanics answers this question by an appeal to the notion of typicality. The problem with this approach is that it comes in different versions, which are, however, not recognised as such, much less clearly distinguished, and we often find different arguments pursued side by side. The aim of this paper is to disentangle different versions of typicality-based explanations (...)
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  46.  26
    Models and representation: why structures are not enough.Roman Frigg - 2002 - London School of Economics and Political Science.
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  47. The ergodic hierarchy.Roman Frigg & Joseph Berkovitz - 2011 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    The so-called ergodic hierarchy (EH) is a central part of ergodic theory. It is a hierarchy of properties that dynamical systems can possess. Its five levels are egrodicity, weak mixing, strong mixing, Kolomogorov, and Bernoulli. Although EH is a mathematical theory, its concepts have been widely used in the foundations of statistical physics, accounts of randomness, and discussions about the nature of chaos. We introduce EH and discuss how its applications in these fields.
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  48.  32
    Seven Myths About the Fiction View of Models.Roman Frigg & James Nguyen - 2021 - In Alejandro Cassini & Juan Redmond (eds.), Models and Idealizations in Science: Artifactual and Fictional Approaches. Springer Verlag. pp. 133-157.
    Roman Frigg and James Nguyen present a detailed statement and defense of the fiction view of scientific models, according to which they are akin to the characters and places of literary fiction. They argue that while some of the criticisms this view has attracted raise legitimate points, others are myths. In this chapter, they first identify and then rebut the following seven myths: that the fiction view regards products of science as falsehoods; that the fiction view holds that models are (...)
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  49.  29
    Mind the Gap: Boltzmannian versus Gibbsian Equilibrium.Charlotte Werndl & Roman Frigg - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (5):1289-1302.
    There are two main theoretical frameworks in statistical mechanics, one associated with Boltzmann and the other with Gibbs. Despite their well-known differences, there is a prevailing view that equilibrium values calculated in both frameworks coincide. We show that this is wrong. There are important cases in which the Boltzmannian and Gibbsian equilibrium concepts yield different outcomes. Furthermore, the conditions under which equilibriums exists are different for Gibbsian and Boltzmannian statistical mechanics. There are, however, special circumstances under which it is true (...)
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  50. Chance and determinism.Roman Frigg - 2016 - In Alan Hájek & Christopher Hitchcock (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Probability and Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Determinism and chance seem to be irreconcilable opposites: either something is chancy or it is deterministic but not both. Yet there are processes which appear to square the circle by being chancy and deterministic at once, and the appearance is backed by well-confirmed scientific theories such as statistical mechanics which also seem to provide us with chances for deterministic processes. Is this possible, and if so how? In this essay I discuss this question for probabilities as they occur in the (...)
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