The Role of Idealizations in Context-Dependent Mapping


This paper explores the integration of Michael Strevens' concept of idealizations with my previous framework of similarity spaces and context-dependence to develop a comprehensive account of ideal explanations in scientific practice. Idealizations, which involve deliberate falsifications, play a crucial role in distinguishing between causally relevant and irrelevant factors in scientific models. Context-dependent mapping provides a structured approach to handling complementarities and context-dependent phenomena by mapping different observational contexts to distinct sets of physical laws. By combining these two ideas, I will construct an idealized context-dependent mapping structure and discuss how ideal similarity spaces within the framework of context-dependent mapping can enhance our understanding of complex scientific phenomena, especially those involving wave-particle duality and black hole complementarity. I also aim to discuss the types of idealizations that may exist within explanation and examine their relations to the mapping.

Author's Profile

Hong Joo Ryoo
University of California, Berkeley


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