PSA2016: The 25th Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association

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Symposium: Matters of Scale: Multiscale Modeling Across the Sciences

Friday, 4 November 2016
13:30 - 15:30

Piedmont 3 (12th Floor)

Chair: Isaac Record, Michigan State University

Multiscale modeling is a common, contemporary modeling technique that is employed in systems as diverse as fluid dynamics, climate models, nanoscale synthesis, and embryonic development. "Multiscale" has recently become something of a buzzword among scientists, appearing in over 17,000 titles in 2015 alone, based on Google Scholar records. In the philosophical literature, multiscale modeling approaches have been proposed as alternatives to traditional reductive and/or emergent frameworks for understanding inter-theory and inter-model relations. In this symposium, we present a variety of case studies in multiscale modeling across physical, biological, and environmental sciences to explore what shape this alternative framework will take in the coming years, and
we discuss the implications of multiscale accounts of inter-theory relations for traditional debates in both the history and the philosophy of science.

Emergence, Autonomy, Multiscale Modeling
Robert Batterman, University of Pittsburgh,
Multiscale Modeling in Nanoscience: Beyond Non-Mereological Relations
Julia Bursten, University of Kentucky,
What to Do About Scale? Challenges for Interdisciplinary Research at Multiple Scales
Melissa Charenko, University of Wisconsin-Madison,
Scale-Dependency and Downward Causation in Biology
Sara Green


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