Experimenting and modeling: sharp distinctions, integration or just a mess?

Beisbart, Claus (27 June 2014). Experimenting and modeling: sharp distinctions, integration or just a mess? (Unpublished). In: Toward a More Integrative View on Modelling, Experimenting, and Simulating. Genf. 27.-28.6.2014.

At first sight, experimenting and modeling form two distinct modes of scientific inquiry. This spurs philosophical debates about how the distinction should be drawn (e.g. Morgan 2005, Winsberg 2009, Parker 2009). But much scientific practice casts serious doubts on the idea that the distinction makes much sense. There are two worries. First, the practices of modeling and experimenting are often intertwined in intricate ways because much modeling involves experimenting, and the interpretation of many experiments relies upon models. Second, there are borderline cases that seem to blur the distinction between experiment and model (if there is any). My talk tries to defend the philosophical project of distinguishing models from experiment and to advance the related philosophical debate. I begin with providing a minimalist framework of conceptualizing experimenting and modeling and their mutual relationships. The methods are conceptualized as different types of activities that are characterized by a primary goal, respectively. The minimalist framwork, which should be uncontroversial, suffices to accommodate the first worry. I address the second worry by suggesting several ways how to conceptualize the distinction in a more flexible way. I make a concrete suggestion of how the distinction may be drawn. I use examples from the history of science to argue my case. The talk concentrates and models and experiments, but I will comment on simulations too.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)

Division/Institute:

06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Art and Cultural Studies > Institute of Philosophy
06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Art and Cultural Studies > Institute of Philosophy > Theoretical Philosophy

UniBE Contributor:

Beisbart, Claus

Subjects:

100 Philosophy
100 Philosophy > 120 Epistemology

Language:

English

Submitter:

Claus Beisbart

Date Deposited:

16 Mar 2015 15:19

Last Modified:

16 Mar 2015 15:19

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/64950

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