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Simulation and similarity : using models to understand the world

Author: Michael Weisberg
Publisher: New York : Oxford University Press, ©2013.
Series: Oxford studies in philosophy of science.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
In the 1950s, John Reber convinced many Californians that the best way to solve the state's water shortage problem was to dam up the San Francisco Bay. Against massive political pressure, Reber's opponents persuaded lawmakers that doing so would lead to disaster. They did this not by empirical measurement alone, but also through the construction of a model. Simulation and Similarity explains why this was a good  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Michael Weisberg
ISBN: 9780199933662 0199933669 9780199933679 0199933677
OCLC Number: 800445416
Description: xviii, 190 pages : illustrations, map ; 25 cm.
Contents: Introduction --
Three kinds of models --
The anatomy of models --
Fictions and folk ontology --
Target-directed modeling --
Idealization --
Modeling without a specific target --
An account of similarity --
Robustness analysis and idealization --
Conclusion: the practice of modeling.
Series Title: Oxford studies in philosophy of science.
Responsibility: Michael Weisberg.
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Abstract:

In the 1950s, John Reber convinced many Californians that the best way to solve the state's water shortage problem was to dam up the San Francisco Bay. Against massive political pressure, Reber's opponents persuaded lawmakers that doing so would lead to disaster. They did this not by empirical measurement alone, but also through the construction of a model. Simulation and Similarity explains why this was a good strategy while simultaneously providing an account of modeling and idealization in modern scientific practice. Michael Weisberg focuses on concrete, mathematical, and computational models in his consideration of the nature of models, the practice of modeling, and nature of the relationship between models and real-world phenomena. In addition to a careful analysis of physical, computational, and mathematical models, Simulation and Similarity offers a novel account of the model/world relationship. Breaking with the dominant tradition, which favors the analysis of this relation through logical notions such as isomorphism, Weisberg instead presents a similarity-based account called weighted feature matching. This account is developed with an eye to understanding how modeling is actually practiced. Consequently, it takes into account the ways in which scientists' theoretical goals shape both the applications and the analyses of their models.

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Michael Weisberg has given us a lovely book on models. It has very broad coverage of issues intersecting the nature of models and their use, an extensive consideration of long ignored concrete models Read more...

 
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