Modeling Practices

Assistant editor: Guilherme Sanches De Oliveira (University of Cincinnati, Technische Universität Berlin)
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  1. Model Anarchism.Walter Veit - 2020
    This paper constitutes a radical departure from the existing philosophical literature on models, modeling-practices, and model-based science. I argue that the various entities and practices called 'models' and 'modeling-practices' are too diverse, too context-sensitive, and serve too many scientific purposes and roles, as to allow for a general philosophical analysis. From this recognition an alternative view emerges that I shall dub model anarchism.
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  2. Unifying the Essential Concepts of Biological Networks: Biological Insights and Philosophical Foundations.Daniel Kostic, Claus Hilgetag & Marc Tittgemeyer - forthcoming - Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.
    Over the last decades, network-based approaches have become highly popular in diverse fields of biology, including neuroscience, ecology, molecular biology and genetics. While these approaches continue to grow very rapidly, some of their conceptual and methodological aspects still require a programmatic foundation. This challenge particularly concerns the question of whether a generalized account of explanatory, organisational and descriptive levels of networks can be applied universally across biological sciences. To this end, this highly interdisciplinary theme issue focuses on the definition, motivation (...)
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  3. Values in Psychometrics.Lisa D. Wijsen, Denny Borsboom & Anna Alexandrova - forthcoming - Perspectives on Psychological Science.
    When it originated in the late 19th century, psychometrics was a field with both a scientific and a social mission: psychometrics provided new methods for research into individual differences, and at the same time, these psychometric instruments were considered a means to create a new social order. In contrast, contemporary psychometrics - due to its highly technical nature and its limited involvement in substantive psychological research - has created the impression of being a value-free discipline. In this article, we develop (...)
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  4. Data models, representation and adequacy-for-purpose.Alisa Bokulich & Wendy Parker - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-26.
    We critically engage two traditional views of scientific data and outline a novel philosophical view that we call the pragmatic-representational view of data. On the PR view, data are representations that are the product of a process of inquiry, and they should be evaluated in terms of their adequacy or fitness for particular purposes. Some important implications of the PR view for data assessment, related to misrepresentation, context-sensitivity, and complementary use, are highlighted. The PR view provides insight into the common (...)
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  5. Multiple-Models Juxtaposition and Trade-Offs Among Modeling Desiderata.Yoshinari Yoshida - 2021 - Philosophy of Science 88 (1):103-123.
    This article offers a characterization of what I call multiple-models juxtaposition, a strategy for managing trade-offs among modeling desiderata. MMJ displays models of distinct phenomena to...
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  6. Perspectives, Questions, and Epistemic Value.Kareem Khalifa & Jared A. Millson - 2020 - In Michela Massimi & Ana-Maria Cretu (eds.), Knowledge From a Human Point of View. Cham: Springer Verlag. pp. 87-106.
    Many epistemologists endorse true-belief monism, the thesis that only true beliefs are of fundamental epistemic value. However, this view faces formidable counterexamples. In response to these challenges, we alter the letter, but not the spirit, of true-belief monism. We dub the resulting view “inquisitive truth monism”, which holds that only true answers to relevant questions are of fundamental epistemic value. Which questions are relevant is a function of an inquirer’s perspective, which is characterized by his/her interests, social role, and background (...)
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  7. Integración de analogías en la investigación científica (Integration of Analogies in Scientific Modeling).Natalia Carrillo-Escalera - 2019 - Revista Colombiana de Filosofía de la Ciencia 37 (18):318-335.
    Discussion of modeling within philosophy of science has focused in how models, understood as finished products, represent the world. This approach has some issues accounting for the value of modeling in situations where there are controversies as to which should be the object of representation. In this work I show that a historical analysis of modeling complements the aforementioned representational program, since it allows us to examine processes of integration of analogies that play a role in the generation of criteria (...)
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  8. The Epistemic Virtue of Robustness in Climate Modeling (MA Dissertation).Parjanya Joshi - 2019 - Dissertation, Tata Institute of Social Sciences
    The aim of this dissertation is to comprehensively study various robustness arguments proposed in the literature from Levins to Lloyd as well as the opposition offered to them and pose enquiry into the degree of epistemic virtue that they provide to the model prediction results with respect to climate science and modeling. Another critical issue that this dissertation strives to examine is that of the actual epistemic notion that is operational when scientists and philosophers appeal to robustness. In attempting to (...)
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  9. La red teórica de la dinámica de poblaciones.Martín Díaz & Pablo Lorenzano - 2018 - Scientiae Studia 15 (2):307.
    The general aim of this article is to carry out a reconstruction of the theory of Population Dynamics (DP) in Ecology, according to Castle’s (2001) general stance with regard to the semantic view of theories, but doing it within the framework of metatheoretical structuralism. Thus, we will first identify Population Dynamics’ basic theory-element: its core K(DP) – with the class of potential models, the class of models (through the identification of its fundamental law) and the class of partial potential models (...)
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  10. Simplified Models: A Different Perspective on Models as Mediators.C. D. McCoy & Michela Massimi - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 8 (1):99-123.
    We introduce a novel point of view on the “models as mediators” framework in order to emphasize certain important epistemological questions about models in science which have so far been little investigated. To illustrate how this perspective can help answer these kinds of questions, we explore the use of simplified models in high energy physics research beyond the Standard Model. We show in detail how the construction of simplified models is grounded in the need to mitigate pressing epistemic problems concerning (...)
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  11. Research Habits in Financial Modelling: The Case of Non-Normativity of Market Returns in the 1970s and the 1980s.Boudewijn De Bruin & Christian Walter - 2017 - In Emiliano Ippoliti & Ping Chen (eds.), Methods and Finance: A Unifying View on Finance, Mathematics, and Philosophy. Cham: Springer. pp. 73-93.
    In this chapter, one considers finance at its very foundations, namely, at the place where assumptions are being made about the ways to measure the two key ingredients of finance: risk and return. It is well known that returns for a large class of assets display a number of stylized facts that cannot be squared with the traditional views of 1960s financial economics (normality and continuity assumptions, i.e. Brownian representation of market dynamics). Despite the empirical counterevidence, normality and continuity assumptions (...)
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  12. Connectomes as Constitutively Epistemic Objects: Critical Perspectives on Modeling in Current Neuroanatomy.Philipp Haueis & Jan Slaby - 2017 - In Progress in Brain Research Vol 233: The Making and Use of Animal Models in Neuroscience and Psychiatry. Amsterdam: pp. 149–177.
    in a nervous system of a given species. This chapter provides a critical perspective on the role of connectomes in neuroscientific practice and asks how the connectomic approach fits into a larger context in which network thinking permeates technology, infrastructure, social life, and the economy. In the first part of this chapter, we argue that, seen from the perspective of ongoing research, the notion of connectomes as “complete descriptions” is misguided. Our argument combines Rachel Ankeny’s analysis of neuroanatomical wiring diagrams (...)
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  13. Sustaining Rules: A Model and Application.John Turri - 2017 - In Knowledge first: approaches in epistemology and mind.
    I introduce an account of when a rule normatively sustains a practice. My basic proposal is that a rule normatively sustains a practice when the value achieved by following the rule explains why agents continue following that rule, thus establishing and sustaining a pattern of activity. I apply this model to practices of belief management and identifies a substantive normative connection between knowledge and belief. More specifically, I proposes one special way that knowledge might set the normative standard for belief: (...)
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  14. Modeling Information.Patrick Grim - 2016 - In Luciano Floridi (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Information. Routledge. pp. 137-152.
    The topics of modeling and information come together in at least two ways. Computational modeling and simulation play an increasingly important role in science, across disciplines from mathematics through physics to economics and political science. The philosophical questions at issue are questions as to what modeling and simulation are adding, altering, or amplifying in terms of scientific information. What changes with regard to information acquisition, theoretical development, or empirical confirmation with contemporary tools of computational modeling? In this sense the title (...)
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  15. Prisoner's Dilemma Doesn't Explain Much.Robert Northcott & Anna Alexandrova - 2015 - In Martin Peterson (ed.), The Prisoner’s Dilemma. Classic philosophical arguments. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 64-84.
    We make the case that the Prisoner’s Dilemma, notwithstanding its fame and the quantity of intellectual resources devoted to it, has largely failed to explain any phenomena of social scientific or biological interest. In the heart of the paper we examine in detail a famous purported example of Prisoner’s Dilemma empirical success, namely Axelrod’s analysis of WWI trench warfare, and argue that this success is greatly overstated. Further, we explain why this negative verdict is likely true generally and not just (...)
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  16. La surprise comme mesure de l'empiricité des simulations computationnelles.Franck Varenne - 2015 - In Natalie Depraz & Claudia Serban (eds.), La surprise. A l'épreuve des langues. Paris: Hermann. pp. 199-217.
    This chapter elaborates and develops the thesis originally put forward by Mary Morgan (2005) that some mathematical models may surprise us, but that none of them can completely confound us, i.e. let us unable to produce an ex post theoretical understanding of the outcome of the model calculations. This chapter intends to object and demonstrate that what is certainly true of classical mathematical models is however not true of pluri-formalized simulations with multiple axiomatic bases. This chapter thus proposes to show (...)
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  17. Heuristics, Descriptions, and the Scope of Mechanistic Explanation.Carlos Zednik - 2015 - In P. Braillard & C. Malaterre (eds.), Explanation in Biology. An Enquiry into the Diversity of Explanatory Patterns in the Life Sciences. Dordrecht: Springer. pp. 295-318.
    The philosophical conception of mechanistic explanation is grounded on a limited number of canonical examples. These examples provide an overly narrow view of contemporary scientific practice, because they do not reflect the extent to which the heuristic strategies and descriptive practices that contribute to mechanistic explanation have evolved beyond the well-known methods of decomposition, localization, and pictorial representation. Recent examples from evolutionary robotics and network approaches to biology and neuroscience demonstrate the increasingly important role played by computer simulations and mathematical (...)
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  18. Scientific Uncertainty: A User's Guide.Seamus Bradley - 2012 - Grantham Institute on Climate Change Discussion Paper.
    There are different kinds of uncertainty. I outline some of the various ways that uncertainty enters science, focusing on uncertainty in climate science and weather prediction. I then show how we cope with some of these sources of error through sophisticated modelling techniques. I show how we maintain confidence in the face of error.
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  19. Introducción a “Nuevas contribuciones iberoamericanas a la metateoría estructuralista”.José A. Díez, José L. Falguera & Pablo Lorenzano - 2012 - Agora 31 (2).
    This is the introduction to the special issue of the Spanish journal Ágora-Papeles de Filosofía (31/2, 2012) devoted to new Ibero-American contributions to metatheoretical structuralism.
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  20. Modeling Social and Evolutionary Games.Angela Potochnik - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 43 (1):202-208.
    When game theory was introduced to biology, the components of classic game theory models were replaced with elements more befitting evolutionary phenomena. The actions of intelligent agents are replaced by phenotypic traits; utility is replaced by fitness; rational deliberation is replaced by natural selection. In this paper, I argue that this classic conception of comprehensive reapplication is misleading, for it overemphasizes the discontinuity between human behavior and evolved traits. Explicitly considering the representational roles of evolutionary game theory brings to attention (...)
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  21. Quelques Aspects de L’Œuvre de Jean-Marie Legay.Franck Varenne - 2012 - Natures Sciences Sociétés 20 (4):461-463.
    Cet article revient sur la pratique scientifique et les thèses épistémologiques de Jean-Marie Legay concernant les modèles, les simulations et les systèmes complexes. Il montre qu'il y a une cohérence entre sa thèse anti-représentationnaliste concernant les modèles et les simulations et sa caractérisation même des systèmes complexes : une simulation informatique, seule, n'est pas une expérience au sens fort car, en l'isolant, on perd la dimension complexe de toute entreprise d'expérimentation scientifique dès lors qu'il y manque le modélisateur, le terrain (...)
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  22. Alife Models as Epistemic Artefacts.Xabier Barandiaran & Alvaro Moreno - 2006 - In Luis Rocha, Larry Yaeger & Mark Bedau (eds.), Artificial Life X : Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on the Simulation and Synthesis of Living Systems. MIT Press. pp. 513-519.
    Both the irreducible complexity of biological phenomena and the aim of a universalized biology (life-as-it-could-be) have lead to a deep methodological shift in the study of life; represented by the appearance of ALife, with its claim that computational modelling is the main tool for studying the general principles of biological phenomenology. However this methodological shift implies important questions concerning the aesthetic, engineering and specially the epistemological status of computational models in scientific research: halfway between the well established categories of theory (...)
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  23. What Does a Computer Simulation Prove? The Case of Plant Modeling at CIRAD.Franck Varenne - 2001 - In N. Giambiasi & C. Frydman (eds.), Simulation in industry - ESS 2001, Proc. of the 13th European Simulation Symposium. Society for Computer Simulation (SCS).
    The credibility of digital computer simulations has always been a problem. Today, through the debate on verification and validation, it has become a key issue. I will review the existing theses on that question. I will show that, due to the role of epistemological beliefs in science, no general agreement can be found on this matter. Hence, the complexity of the construction of sciences must be acknowledged. I illustrate these claims with a recent historical example. Finally I temperate this diversity (...)
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