Hypothetical Pattern Idealization and Explanatory Models

Philosophy of Science 80 (3):334-355 (2013)
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Highly idealized models, such as the Hawk-Dove game, are pervasive in biological theorizing. We argue that the process and motivation that leads to the introduction of various idealizations into these models is not adequately captured by Michael Weisberg’s taxonomy of three kinds of idealization. Consequently, a fourth kind of idealization is required, which we call hypothetical pattern idealization. This kind of idealization is used to construct models that aim to be explanatory but do not aim to be explanations.



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Author Profiles

Collin Rice
Colorado State University
Yasha Rohwer
University of Missouri, Columbia

Citations of this work

Understanding from Machine Learning Models.Emily Sullivan - 2022 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 73 (1):109-133.
Minimal Model Explanations.Robert W. Batterman & Collin C. Rice - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (3):349-376.
Perspectival Modeling.Michela Massimi - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (3):335-359.
The diverse aims of science.Angela Potochnik - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 53:71-80.

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References found in this work

Explanation and scientific understanding.Michael Friedman - 1974 - Journal of Philosophy 71 (1):5-19.
Explanatory unification.Philip Kitcher - 1981 - Philosophy of Science 48 (4):507-531.
Three Kinds of Idealization.Michael Weisberg - 2007 - Journal of Philosophy 104 (12):639-659.
Galilean Idealization.Ernan McMullin - 1985 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 16 (3):247.
The strategy of model-based science.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2006 - Biology and Philosophy 21 (5):725-740.

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