Response to Franklin's Comments on 'Certainty and Domain-Independence in the Sciences of Complexity'

Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 30 (4):725-728 (1999)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Professor Franklin is correct to say that there are significant areas of agreement between his account of formal science (Franklin, 1994) and my critique of his account. We both agree that the domain-independence exhibited by the formal sciences is ontologically and epistemically interesting, and that the concept of ‘structure’ must be central in any analysis of domain-independence. We also agree that knowledge of the structural, relational properties of physical systems should count as empirical knowledge, and that it makes sense to talk about an empirical ‘science’ of structure. Where we disagree is over the frequency of occasions where ‘practical certainty’ is actually attained: Franklin argues that practical certainty is not uncommon in the formal sciences, while I argue that there are barriers to practical certainty that Franklin fails to appreciate. In Franklin’s response, he briefly presents and offers criticisms of my two main arguments against his central thesis. Franklin asserts that the flaw in my first argument is that it does not appreciate that modern mathematical models exhibit structural stability, and thus that many of their predictions are robust under small variations in input or parameter values (and hence, insensitive to the inevitable gaps between estimates and actual values). Nevertheless, what I had in mind in using the term ‘realistic modelling situations’ were models of fairly complex natural systems, such as the dripping faucet, spruce budworm and ecosystem ecology examples. My objection is not that mathematical models of such systems cannot legitimately and accurately describe structural properties that are genuinely predicable of real-world systems, but simply that for..

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 74,480

External links

  • This entry has no external links. Add one.
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Structure and Domain-Independence in the Formal Sciences.James Franklin - 1999 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 30:721-723.
Benjamin Franklin and the League of the Haudenosaunee.John T. Sanders - 2006 - In St Petersburg Center for the History of Ideas (ed.), The Philosophical Age, Almanac 32: Benjamin Franklin and Russia, to the Tercentenary of His Birth. St. Petersburg Center for the History of Ideas.
Allan Franklin, Right or Wrong.Robert Ackermann - 1990 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1990:451-457.
Mill's Natural Kinds.F. Franklin & C. L. Franklin - 1888 - Mind 13 (49):83-85.
Mathematics in the Biological Sciences.Not By Me - 1992 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 6 (3):241 – 248.
Allan Franklin's Transcendental Physics.Michael Lynch - 1990 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1990:471 - 485.

Analytics

Added to PP
2010-12-22

Downloads
14 (#725,419)

6 months
1 (#417,474)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

The Formal Sciences Discover the Philosophers' Stone.James Franklin - 1994 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 25 (4):513-533.
Structure and Domain-Independence in the Formal Sciences.James Franklin - 1999 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 30:721-723.

Add more references