Abstract
Abstract The usefulness of models that describe the world lies in their simplicity relative to what they model. But simplification entails inaccuracy, so models should be treated as provisional. Nancy Cartwright's account of science as a modeling exercise, in which fundamental laws hold true only in theory?not in reality, given the complexities of the real world?suggests that Rational Choice Theory (RCT) should not be rejected on the traditional basis of its lack of realism: that, after all, is to be expected of any simulacrum model. But when RCT has been extended to domains, such as politics, in which there is no necessary reason to expect systemic pressures against people who depart too far from the model, RCT is a simulacrum without any particular claim to expressing underlying causal laws. This cautions against the tendency to rest content with models and to treat their assumptions as if they were true.
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DOI 10.1080/08913810508443631
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References found in this work BETA

How the Laws of Physics Lie.Nancy Cartwright - 1983 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
How the Laws of Physics Lie.Malcolm R. Forster - 1985 - Philosophy of Science 52 (3):478-480.

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Citations of this work BETA

Popper, Weber, and Hayek: The Epistemology and Politics of Ignorance.Jeffrey Friedman - 2005 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 17 (1-2):1-58.
Ignorance as a Starting Point: From Modest Epistemology to Realistic Political Theory.Jeffrey Friedman - 2007 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 19 (1):1-22.

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