• Philosophy

Reconstructing Reality

Models, Mathematics, and Simulations
Author: Margaret Morrison
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0199380279
Category: Philosophy
Page: 334
View: 8728
This text examines issues related to the way modelling and simulation enable us to reconstruct aspects of the world we are investigating. It also investigates the processes by which we extract concrete knowledge from those reconstructions and how that knowledge is legitimated.

    • Philosophy

Mathematics and Scientific Representation

Author: Christopher Pincock
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190208570
Category: Philosophy
Page: 352
View: 3614
Mathematics plays a central role in much of contemporary science, but philosophers have struggled to understand what this role is or how significant it might be for mathematics and science. In this book Christopher Pincock tackles this perennial question in a new way by asking how mathematics contributes to the success of our best scientific representations. In the first part of the book this question is posed and sharpened using a proposal for how we can determine the content of a scientific representation. Several different sorts of contributions from mathematics are then articulated. Pincock argues that each contribution can be understood as broadly epistemic, so that what mathematics ultimately contributes to science is best connected with our scientific knowledge. In the second part of the book, Pincock critically evaluates alternative approaches to the role of mathematics in science. These include the potential benefits for scientific discovery and scientific explanation. A major focus of this part of the book is the indispensability argument for mathematical platonism. Using the results of part one, Pincock argues that this argument can at best support a weak form of realism about the truth-value of the statements of mathematics. The book concludes with a chapter on pure mathematics and the remaining options for making sense of its interpretation and epistemology. Thoroughly grounded in case studies drawn from scientific practice, this book aims to bring together current debates in both the philosophy of mathematics and the philosophy of science and to demonstrate the philosophical importance of applications of mathematics.

    • Science

Simulation and Similarity

Using Models to Understand the World
Author: Michael Weisberg
Publisher: OUP USA
ISBN: 0199933669
Category: Science
Page: 224
View: 1916
This book is an account of modeling and idealization in modern scientific practice, focusing on concrete, mathematical, and computational models. The main topics of this book are the nature of models, the practice of modeling, and the nature of the relationship between models and real-world phenomena. In order to elucidate the model/world relationship, Weisberg develops a novel account of similarity called weighted feature matching.

    • Computers

Science in the Age of Computer Simulation

Author: Eric Winsberg
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226902048
Category: Computers
Page: 152
View: 8984
Computer simulation was first pioneered as a scientific tool in meteorology and nuclear physics in the period following World War II, but it has grown rapidly to become indispensible in a wide variety of scientific disciplines, including astrophysics, high-energy physics, climate science, engineering, ecology, and economics. Digital computer simulation helps study phenomena of great complexity, but how much do we know about the limits and possibilities of this new scientific practice? How do simulations compare to traditional experiments? And are they reliable? Eric Winsberg seeks to answer these questions in Science in the Age of Computer Simulation. Scrutinizing these issue with a philosophical lens, Winsberg explores the impact of simulation on such issues as the nature of scientific evidence; the role of values in science; the nature and role of fictions in science; and the relationship between simulation and experiment, theories and data, and theories at different levels of description. Science in the Age of Computer Simulation will transform many of the core issues in philosophy of science, as well as our basic understanding of the role of the digital computer in the sciences.

    • Business & Economics

Models as Mediators

Perspectives on Natural and Social Science
Author: Mary S. Morgan,Margaret Morrison
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521655712
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 401
View: 705
Edited collection examining the ways in which models are used in modern science.

    • Science

What Makes Time Special?

Author: Craig Callender
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0192517856
Category: Science
Page: 336
View: 6929
As we navigate through life we instinctively model time as having a flowing present that divides a fixed past from open future. This model develops in childhood and is deeply saturated within our language, thought and behavior, affecting our conceptions of the universe, freedom and the self. Yet as central as it is to our lives, physics seems to have no room for this flowing present. What Makes Time Special? demonstrates this claim in detail and then turns to two novel positive tasks. First, by looking at the world "sideways" - in the spatial directions — it shows that physics is not "spatializing time" as is commonly alleged. Even relativity theory makes significant distinctions between the spacelike and timelike directions, often with surprising consequences. Second, if the flowing present is an illusion, it is a deep one worthy of explanation. The author develops a picture whereby the temporal flow arises as an interaction effect between an observer and the physics of the world. Using insights from philosophy, cognitive science, biology, psychology and physics, the theory claims that the flowing present model of time is the natural reaction to the perceptual and evolutionary challenges thrown at us. Modeling time as flowing makes sense even if it misrepresents it.

    • Science

The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Science

Author: Paul Humphreys
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199368821
Category: Science
Page: 800
View: 9121
This handbook provides both an overview of state-of-the-art scholarship in philosophy of science, as well as a guide to new directions in the discipline. Section I contains broad overviews of the main lines of research and the state of established knowledge in six principal areas of the discipline, including computational, physical, biological, psychological and social sciences, as well as general philosophy of science. Section II covers what are considered to be the traditional topics in the philosophy of science, such as causation, probability, models, ethics and values, and explanation. Section III identifies new areas of investigation that show promise of becoming important areas of research, including the philosophy of astronomy and astrophysics, data, complexity theory, neuroscience, simulations, post-Kuhnian philosophy, post-empiricist epistemology, and emergence. Most chapters are accessible to scientifically educated non-philosophers as well as to professional philosophers, and the contributors - all leading researchers in their field -- bring diverse perspectives from the North American, European, and Australasian research communities. This volume is an essential resource for scholars and students.

    • Science

Mathematics as a Tool

Tracing New Roles of Mathematics in the Sciences
Author: Johannes Lenhard,Martin Carrier
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319544691
Category: Science
Page: 286
View: 9506
This book puts forward a new role for mathematics in the natural sciences. In the traditional understanding, a strong viewpoint is advocated, on the one hand, according to which mathematics is used for truthfully expressing laws of nature and thus for rendering the rational structure of the world. In a weaker understanding, many deny that these fundamental laws are of an essentially mathematical character, and suggest that mathematics is merely a convenient tool for systematizing observational knowledge. The position developed in this volume combines features of both the strong and the weak viewpoint. In accordance with the former, mathematics is assigned an active and even shaping role in the sciences, but at the same time, employing mathematics as a tool is taken to be independent from the possible mathematical structure of the objects under consideration. Hence the tool perspective is contextual rather than ontological. Furthermore, tool-use has to respect conditions like suitability, efficacy, optimality, and others. There is a spectrum of means that will normally differ in how well they serve particular purposes. The tool perspective underlines the inevitably provisional validity of mathematics: any tool can be adjusted, improved, or lose its adequacy upon changing practical conditions.

    • Business & Economics

Generative Social Science: Studies in Agent-Based Computational Modeling

Studies in Agent-Based Computational Modeling
Author: Joshua M. Epstein
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400842875
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 384
View: 5575
Agent-based computational modeling is changing the face of social science. In Generative Social Science, Joshua Epstein argues that this powerful, novel technique permits the social sciences to meet a fundamentally new standard of explanation, in which one "grows" the phenomenon of interest in an artificial society of interacting agents: heterogeneous, boundedly rational actors, represented as mathematical or software objects. After elaborating this notion of generative explanation in a pair of overarching foundational chapters, Epstein illustrates it with examples chosen from such far-flung fields as archaeology, civil conflict, the evolution of norms, epidemiology, retirement economics, spatial games, and organizational adaptation. In elegant chapter preludes, he explains how these widely diverse modeling studies support his sweeping case for generative explanation. This book represents a powerful consolidation of Epstein's interdisciplinary research activities in the decade since the publication of his and Robert Axtell's landmark volume, Growing Artificial Societies. Beautifully illustrated, Generative Social Science includes a CD that contains animated movies of core model runs, and programs allowing users to easily change assumptions and explore models, making it an invaluable text for courses in modeling at all levels.

    • Political Science

Approaches and Methodologies in the Social Sciences

A Pluralist Perspective
Author: Donatella Della Porta,Michael Keating
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1139474596
Category: Political Science
Page: N.A
View: 6320
A revolutionary textbook introducing masters and doctoral students to the major research approaches and methodologies in the social sciences. Written by an outstanding set of scholars, and derived from successful course teaching, this volume will empower students to choose their own approach to research, to justify this approach, and to situate it within the discipline. It addresses questions of ontology, epistemology and philosophy of social science, and proceeds to issues of methodology and research design essential for producing a good research proposal. It also introduces researchers to the main issues of debate and contention in the methodology of social sciences, identifying commonalities, historic continuities and genuine differences.

    • Philosophy

Science and Partial Truth

A Unitary Approach to Models and Scientific Reasoning
Author: Newton C. A. da Costa,Steven French
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198035534
Category: Philosophy
Page: 272
View: 4961
In the past thirty years, two fundamental issues have emerged in the philosophy of science. One concerns the appropriate attitude we should take towards scientific theories--whether we should regard them as true or merely empirically adequate, for example. The other concerns the nature of scientific theories and models and how these might best be represented. In this ambitious book, da Costa and French bring these two issues together by arguing that theories and models should be regarded as partially rather than wholly true. They adopt a framework that sheds new light on issues to do with belief, theory acceptance, and the realism-antirealism debate. The new machinery of "partial structures" that they develop offers a new perspective from which to view the nature of scientific models and their heuristic development. Their conclusions will be of wide interest to philosophers and historians of science.

    • Science

Because Without Cause

Non-Causal Explanations in Science and Mathematics
Author: Marc Lange
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190269499
Category: Science
Page: 464
View: 8392
Not all scientific explanations work by describing causal connections between events or the world's overall causal structure. Some mathematical proofs explain why the theorems being proved hold. In this book, Marc Lange proposes philosophical accounts of many kinds of non-causal explanations in science and mathematics. These topics have been unjustly neglected in the philosophy of science and mathematics. One important kind of non-causal scientific explanation is termed explanation by constraint. These explanations work by providing information about what makes certain facts especially inevitable - more necessary than the ordinary laws of nature connecting causes to their effects. Facts explained in this way transcend the hurly-burly of cause and effect. Many physicists have regarded the laws of kinematics, the great conservation laws, the coordinate transformations, and the parallelogram of forces as having explanations by constraint. This book presents an original account of explanations by constraint, concentrating on a variety of examples from classical physics and special relativity. This book also offers original accounts of several other varieties of non-causal scientific explanation. Dimensional explanations work by showing how some law of nature arises merely from the dimensional relations among the quantities involved. Really statistical explanations include explanations that appeal to regression toward the mean and other canonical manifestations of chance. Lange provides an original account of what makes certain mathematical proofs but not others explain what they prove. Mathematical explanation connects to a host of other important mathematical ideas, including coincidences in mathematics, the significance of giving multiple proofs of the same result, and natural properties in mathematics. Introducing many examples drawn from actual science and mathematics, with extended discussions of examples from Lagrange, Desargues, Thomson, Sylvester, Maxwell, Rayleigh, Einstein, and Feynman, Because Without Cause's proposals and examples should set the agenda for future work on non-causal explanation.

    • Social Science

Simulation For The Social Scientist

Author: Gilbert, Nigel,Troitzsch, Klaus
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education (UK)
ISBN: 9780335216000
Category: Social Science
Page: 295
View: 6421
Social sciences -- Simulation methods. Social interaction -- Computer simulation. Social sciences -- Mathematical models. (publisher)

    • Philosophy

Philosophy and Computing

An Introduction
Author: Luciano Floridi
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134679599
Category: Philosophy
Page: 256
View: 5543
Philosophy and Computing explores each of the following areas of technology: the digital revolution; the computer; the Internet and the Web; CD-ROMs and Mulitmedia; databases, textbases, and hypertexts; Artificial Intelligence; the future of computing. Luciano Floridi shows us how the relationship between philosophy and computing provokes a wide range of philosophical questions: is there a philosophy of information? What can be achieved by a classic computer? How can we define complexity? What are the limits of quantam computers? Is the Internet an intellectual space or a polluted environment? What is the paradox in the Strong Artificial Intlligence program? Philosophy and Computing is essential reading for anyone wishing to fully understand both the development and history of information and communication technology as well as the philosophical issues it ultimately raises.

    • Science

The Book of Evidence

Author: Peter Achinstein
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198032919
Category: Science
Page: 304
View: 2833
What is required for something to be evidence for a hypothesis? In this fascinating, elegantly written work, distinguished philosopher of science Peter Achinstein explores this question, rejecting typical philosophical and statistical theories of evidence. He claims these theories are much too weak to give scientists what they want--a good reason to believe--and, in some cases, they furnish concepts that mistakenly make all evidential claims a priori. Achinstein introduces four concepts of evidence, defines three of them by reference to "potential" evidence, and characterizes the latter using a novel epistemic interpretation of probability. The resulting theory is then applied to philosophical and historical issues. Solutions are provided to the "grue," "ravens," "lottery," and "old-evidence" paradoxes, and to a series of questions. These include whether explanations or predictions furnish more evidential weight, whether individual hypotheses or entire theoretical systems can receive evidential support, what counts as a scientific discovery, and what sort of evidence is required for it. The historical questions include whether Jean Perrin had non-circular evidence for the existence of molecules, what type of evidence J. J. Thomson offered for the existence of the electron, and whether, as is usually supposed, he really discovered the electron. Achinstein proposes answers in terms of the concepts of evidence introduced. As the premier book in the fabulous new series Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Science, this volume is essential for philosophers of science and historians of science, as well as for statisticians, scientists with philosophical interests, and anyone curious about scientific reasoning.

    • Philosophy

The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Physics

Author: Robert Batterman
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199908354
Category: Philosophy
Page: 704
View: 8666
This Oxford Handbook provides an overview of many of the topics that currently engage philosophers of physics. It surveys new issues and the problems that have become a focus of attention in recent years. It also provides up-to-date discussions of the still very important problems that dominated the field in the past. In the late 20th Century, the philosophy of physics was largely focused on orthodox Quantum Mechanics and Relativity Theory. The measurement problem, the question of the possibility of hidden variables, and the nature of quantum locality dominated the literature on the quantum mechanics, whereas questions about relationalism vs. substantivalism, and issues about underdetermination of theories dominated the literature on spacetime. These issues still receive considerable attention from philosophers, but many have shifted their attentions to other questions related to quantum mechanics and to spacetime theories. Quantum field theory has become a major focus, particularly from the point of view of algebraic foundations. Concurrent with these trends, there has been a focus on understanding gauge invariance and symmetries. The philosophy of physics has evolved even further in recent years with attention being paid to theories that, for the most part, were largely ignored in the past. For example, the relationship between thermodynamics and statistical mechanics---once thought to be a paradigm instance of unproblematic theory reduction---is now a hotly debated topic. The implicit, and sometimes explicit, reductionist methodology of both philosophers and physicists has been severely criticized and attention has now turned to the explanatory and descriptive roles of "non-fundamental,'' phenomenological theories. This shift of attention includes "old'' theories such as classical mechanics, once deemed to be of little philosophical interest. Furthermore, some philosophers have become more interested in "less fundamental'' contemporary physics such as condensed matter theory. Questions abound with implications for the nature of models, idealizations, and explanation in physics. This Handbook showcases all these aspects of this complex and dynamic discipline.

    • Education

Scientific Knowledge and Its Social Problems

Author: N.A
Publisher: Transaction Publishers
ISBN: 9781412833783
Category: Education
Page: 449
View: 5436
Science is continually confronted by new and difficult social and ethical problems. Some of these problems have arisen from the transformation of the academic science of the prewar period into the industrialized science of the present. Traditional theories of science are now widely recognized as obsolete. In Scientific Knowledge and Its Social Problems (originally published in 1971), Jerome R. Ravetz analyzes the work of science as the creation and investigation of problems. He demonstrates the role of choice and value judgment, and the inevitability of error, in scientific research. Ravetz's new introductory essay is a masterful statement of how our understanding of science has evolved over the last two decades.

    • Social Science

Applications of Mathematics in Models, Artificial Neural Networks and Arts

Mathematics and Society
Author: Vittorio Capecchi,Massimo Buscema,Pierluigi Contucci,Bruno D'Amore
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9789048185818
Category: Social Science
Page: 617
View: 9116
The book shows a very original organization addressing in a non traditional way, but with a systematic approach, to who has an interest in using mathematics in the social sciences. The book is divided in four parts: (a) a historical part, written by Vittorio Capecchi which helps us understand the changes in the relationship between mathematics and sociology by analyzing the mathematical models of Paul F. Lazarsfeld, the model of simulation and artificial societies, models of artificial neural network and considering all the changes in scientific paradigms considered; (b) a part coordinated by Pier Luigi Contucci on mathematical models that consider the relationship between the mathematical models that come from physics and linguistics to arrive at the study of society and those which are born within sociology and economics; (c) a part coordinated by Massimo Buscema analyzing models of artificial neural networks; (d) a part coordinated by Bruno D’Amore which considers the relationship between mathematics and art. The title of the book "Mathematics and Society" was chosen because the mathematical applications exposed in the book allow you to address two major issues: (a) the general theme of technological innovation and quality of life (among the essays are on display mathematical applications to the problems of combating pollution and crime, applications to mathematical problems of immigration, mathematical applications to the problems of medical diagnosis, etc.) (b) the general theme of technical innovation and creativity, for example the art and mathematics section which connects to the theme of creative cities. The book is very original because it is not addressed only to those who are passionate about mathematical applications in social science but also to those who, in different societies, are: (a) involved in technological innovation to improve the quality of life; (b) involved in the wider distribution of technological innovation in different areas of creativity (as in the project "Creative Cities Network" of UNESCO).

    • Business & Economics

The World in the Model

How Economists Work and Think
Author: Mary S. Morgan
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1139560417
Category: Business & Economics
Page: N.A
View: 6862
During the last two centuries, the way economic science is done has changed radically: it has become a social science based on mathematical models in place of words. This book describes and analyses that change - both historically and philosophically - using a series of case studies to illuminate the nature and the implications of these changes. It is not a technical book; it is written for the intelligent person who wants to understand how economics works from the inside out. This book will be of interest to economists and science studies scholars (historians, sociologists and philosophers of science). But it also aims at a wider readership in the public intellectual sphere, building on the current interest in all things economic and on the recent failure of the so-called economic model, which has shaped our beliefs and the world we live in.

    • Philosophy

Computational Philosophy of Science

Author: Paul Thagard
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262700481
Category: Philosophy
Page: 240
View: 3254
By applying research in artificial intelligence to problems in the philosophy of science, Paul Thagard develops an exciting new approach to the study of scientific reasoning. This approach uses computational ideas to shed light on how scientific theories are discovered, evaluated, and used in explanations. Thagard describes a detailed computational model of problem solving and discovery that provides a conceptually rich yet rigorous alternative to accounts of scientific knowledge based on formal logic, and he uses it to illuminate such topics as the nature of concepts, hypothesis formation, analogy, and theory justification.