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The Structure of Asymptotic Idealization

Strevens, Michael (2017) The Structure of Asymptotic Idealization. [Preprint]


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Robert Batterman and others have argued that certain idealizing explanations have an asymptotic form: they account for a state of affairs or behavior by showing that it emerges "in the limit". Asymptotic idealizations are interesting in many ways, but is there anything special about them as idealizations? To understand their role in science, must we augment our philosophical theories of idealization? This paper uses simple examples of asymptotic idealization in population genetics to argue for an affirmative answer and proposes a general schema for asymptotic idealization, drawing on insights from Batterman's treatment and from John Norton's subsequent critique.

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Item Type: Preprint
Strevens, Michaelstrevens@me.com0000-0002-7558-5301
Keywords: Idealization, Scientific explanation, Asymptotic idealization, Asymptotic idealization, Population genetics
Subjects: General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > Models and Idealization
Depositing User: Dr Michael Strevens
Date Deposited: 21 Dec 2017 17:56
Last Modified: 21 Dec 2017 17:56
Item ID: 14233
Subjects: General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > Models and Idealization
Date: 2017

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