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Theory Roulette: Choosing that Climate Change is not a Tragedy of the Commons (forthcoming)

Ortmann, Jakob and Veit, Walter (2022) Theory Roulette: Choosing that Climate Change is not a Tragedy of the Commons (forthcoming). [Preprint]

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Abstract

Climate change mitigation has become a paradigm case for both externalities in general and for the game-theoretic model of the Tragedy of the Commons (ToC) in particular. This situation is worrying as we have reasons to suspect that some models in the social sciences are apt to be performative such that they can become self-fulfilling prophecies. Framing climate change mitigation as a hardly solvable coordination problem may force us into a worse situation, by changing real-world behaviour to fit our model, rather than the other way around. But while this problem of the performativity of ToC has been noted in a recent paper in this journal by Matthew Kopec, we find his proposed strategies for dealing with their self-fulfilling nature lacking. Instead of relying on the idea that modelling assumptions are always strictly speaking false, we illustrate that the problem may be better framed as a problem of underdetermination between competing explanations. Our goal here is to provide a framework for choosing between this set of competing models that allows us to avoid a ‘Russian Roulette’-like situation in which we gamble with existential risk.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Ortmann, Jakob
Veit, Walterwrwveit@gmail.com0000-0001-7701-8995
Keywords: Tragedy of the Commons, Climate Change, Philosophy of Science, Game Theory, Ethics of Climate Change
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Complex Systems
Specific Sciences > Climate Science and Meteorology
Specific Sciences > Economics
General Issues > Game Theory
General Issues > Models and Idealization
General Issues > Rhetoric of Science
General Issues > Science and Policy
Depositing User: Mr. Walter Veit
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2022 04:24
Last Modified: 14 Jan 2022 04:24
Item ID: 20096
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Complex Systems
Specific Sciences > Climate Science and Meteorology
Specific Sciences > Economics
General Issues > Game Theory
General Issues > Models and Idealization
General Issues > Rhetoric of Science
General Issues > Science and Policy
Date: 2022
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/20096

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