Many accounts of scientific modeling assume that models can be decomposed into the contributions made by their accurate and inaccurate parts—what Rice calls the “decompositional strategy”. This decompositional strategy is central to a wide range of accounts of how to model complex systems, robustness analysis, how models explain, how idealizations contribute to models, and how idealized modeling is compatible with scientific realism. In this talk, Rice will argue that the decompositional strategy requires three assumptions that are not typically met by our best scientific models. As a result, these decompositional accounts need to be supplanted by an alternative view. Consequently, after arguing against the decompositional strategy, he will make a first step towards this alternative framework by proposing what he will call the holistic view of how idealizations contribute to scientific models.

 

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