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2016

Philosophy of Science

Adequacy for Purpose

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Similarity, Adequacy, And Purpose: Understanding The Success Of Scientific Models, Melissa Jacquart Aug 2016

Similarity, Adequacy, And Purpose: Understanding The Success Of Scientific Models, Melissa Jacquart

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

A central component to scientific practice is the construction and use of scientific models. Scientists believe that the success of a model justifies making claims that go beyond the model itself. However, philosophical analysis of models suggests that drawing inferences about the world from successful models is more complex. In this dissertation I develop a framework that can help disentangle the related strands of evaluation of model success, model extendibility, and the ability to draw ampliative inferences about the world from models.

I present and critically assess two leading accounts of model assessment, arguing that neither is sufficient to provide ...