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Robustness and Replication: Models, Experiments, and Confirmation

Fuller, Gareth (2022) Robustness and Replication: Models, Experiments, and Confirmation. In: UNSPECIFIED.

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Abstract

In this paper I take up a criticism of robustness analysis. Robustness analysis is a method of confirming idealized models where several models with a shared core causal mechanism but different idealizations are constructed. If this set of models produce a shared result, then this is supposed to show that the core mechanism is what is responsible for this response. If this shared result is empirically confirmed, it is argued that this then provides confirmation for the shared core. Robustness analysis has faced several criticisms, one being that, since each model in the robust set is false, no confirmation can be had. Even if they all agree, each model is still false, and agreement among false models confirms nothing. I argue that this concern can be assuaged by understanding the role fo some idealizations as controls for causal factors. I draw an analogy between such idealizations and contrived experimental conditions. From there, I extend the analogy so that robustness analysis can play a similar role to some cases of experimental replication. I finish by considering some concerns about this analogy and some residual fears about idealizations.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Fuller, Garethgfuller2@ku.edu0000-0002-0879-8198
Keywords: Modeling, Idealizations, Robustness Analysis, Confirmation, Replication
Subjects: General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
General Issues > Evidence
General Issues > Models and Idealization
Depositing User: Dr. Gareth Fuller
Date Deposited: 21 Jun 2022 12:59
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2022 12:59
Item ID: 20771
Subjects: General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
General Issues > Evidence
General Issues > Models and Idealization
Date: 2022
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/20771

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