Models as Partial Explanations

  • Paul Weirich
Part of the Intelligent Systems Reference Library book series (ISRL, volume 44)

Abstract

Models incorporate idealizations that do not hold in natural systems, and yet models elucidate natural systems. How can a model explain a natural system’s operation despite a failure to represent the system accurately? This chapter presents an answer to this question. It argues that an explanatory model, despite idealizations, offers a partial explanation of a phenomenon by displaying the operation of some factors behind the phenomenon’s production. The first section presents this view, the second compares it to rival views, and the third shows how it guides construction of models.

Keywords

Explanatory Power Natural System Actual World Explanatory Model Inductive Inference 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Weirich
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MissouriColumbiaUnited States

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