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

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A Distorted Reality: Models as Holistic Distortions

In this paper, I first argue against various attempts to justify idealizations in scientific models that explain by showing that they are harmless and isolable distortions of irrelevant features. In response, I propose a view in which idealized models are characterized as holistically distorted representations of their target system(s). I then suggest alternative ways that idealized modeling can be justified by appealing to universality.

Author Information:

Collin Rice    
Department of Philosophy
Bryn Mawr College


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