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Laws and Models in a Theory of Idealization

Liu, Chuang (2001) Laws and Models in a Theory of Idealization. UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)


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In this paper, I first give a brief summary of a critique of the traditional theories of approximation and idealization; and after identifying one of the major roles of idealization as detaching component processes or systems from joints of nature, a detailed analysis is given of idealized laws -- which are discoverable and/or applicable -- in such processes and systems (i.e. idealized model systems). Then, arguments are given for the inclusion of dispositional properties in the class of admissible properties for laws; and such an inclusion turns out to be crucial to our understanding of the relation between idealized models and the laws they 'produce' or 'accommodate'. And then I argue that idealized laws so produced or accommodated in the models are either true simpliciter or only approximately true but not so because of the idealizations in question. Finally I compare my theory with some existing theories of laws of nature.

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Item Type: Other
Liu, Chuang
Keywords: approximation, laws of nature, idealized laws, ceteris paribus laws, categorical property, disposition, propensity, capacity
Subjects: General Issues > Laws of Nature
General Issues > Models and Idealization
General Issues > Philosophers of Science
Specific Sciences > Physics
General Issues > Structure of Theories
Depositing User: Chuang Liu
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2001
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 15:10
Item ID: 363
Public Domain: No

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