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The Limits of Modeling

Podnieks, Karlis (2010) The Limits of Modeling. [Preprint]


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First, I propose a new argument in favor of the Dappled World perspective introduced by Nancy Cartwright. There are systems, for which detailed models can't exist in the natural world. And this has nothing to do with the limitations of human minds or technical resources. The limitation is built into the very principle of modeling: we are trying to replace some system by another one. In full detail, this may be impossible. Secondly, I'm trying to refine the Dappled World perspective by applying the correct distinction between models and theories. At the level of models, because of the above-mentioned limitations, we will always have only a patchwork of models each very restricted in its application scope. And at the level of theories, we will never have a single complete Theory of Everything (or, a complete pyramid of theories) allowing, without additional postulates, to generate all the models we may need for surviving in this world.

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Item Type: Preprint
Podnieks, Karlis
Keywords: models and theories, model templates, models in statistical physics, simulation
Subjects: General Issues > Models and Idealization
Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
Depositing User: Karlis Podnieks
Date Deposited: 15 Jul 2010
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 15:19
Item ID: 5475

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