Bas C. Van Fraassen
San Francisco State University
Isabelle Peschard
San Francisco State University
Experimental modeling is the construction of theoretical models hand in hand with experimental activity. As explained in Section 1, experimental modeling starts with claims about phenomena that use abstract concepts, concepts whose conditions of realization are not yet specified; and it ends with a concrete model of the phenomenon, a model that can be tested against data. This paper argues that this process from abstract concepts to concrete models involves judgments of relevance, which are irreducibly normative. In Section 2, we show, on the basis of several case studies, how these judgments contribute to the determination of the conditions of realization of the abstract concepts and, at the same time, of the quantities that characterize the phenomenon under study. Then, in Section 3, we compare this view on modeling with other approaches that also have acknowledged the role of relevance judgments in science. To conclude, in Section 4, we discuss the possibility of a plurality of relevance judgments and introduce a distinction between locally and generally relevant factors
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DOI 10.1016/j.shpsa.2013.11.004
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References found in this work BETA

Three Kinds of Idealization.Michael Weisberg - 2007 - Journal of Philosophy 104 (12):639-659.
The Scientist Qua Scientist Makes Value Judgments.Richard Rudner - 1953 - Philosophy of Science 20 (1):1-6.
Inductive Risk and Values in Science.Heather Douglas - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (4):559-579.
The Tool Box of Science: Tools for the Building of Models with a Superconductivity Example.Nancy Cartwright, Towfic Shomar & Mauricio Suárez - 1995 - Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities 44:137-149.

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