Simulation and Similarity: Using Models to Understand the World - Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Science (Paperback)
  • Simulation and Similarity: Using Models to Understand the World - Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Science (Paperback)
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Simulation and Similarity: Using Models to Understand the World - Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Science (Paperback)

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£29.49
Paperback 212 Pages / Published: 26/11/2015
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In the 1950s, John Reber convinced many Californians that the best way to solve the state's water shortage problem was to dam up the San Francisco Bay. Against massive political pressure, Reber's opponents persuaded lawmakers that doing so would lead to disaster. They did this not by empirical measurement alone, but also through the construction of a model. Simulation and Similarity explains why this was a good strategy while simultaneously providing an account of modeling and idealization in modern scientific practice. Michael Weisberg focuses on concrete, mathematical, and computational models in his consideration of the nature of models, the practice of modeling, and nature of the relationship between models and real-world phenomena. In addition to a careful analysis of physical, computational, and mathematical models, Simulation and Similarity offers a novel account of the model/world relationship. Breaking with the dominant tradition, which favors the analysis of this relation through logical notions such as isomorphism, Weisberg instead presents a similarity-based account called weighted feature matching. This account is developed with an eye to understanding how modeling is actually practiced. Consequently, it takes into account the ways in which scientists' theoretical goals shape both the applications and the analyses of their models.

Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
ISBN: 9780190265120
Number of pages: 212
Weight: 316 g
Dimensions: 235 x 159 x 13 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Michael Weisberg has given us a lovely book on models. It has very broad coverage of issues intersecting the nature of models and their use, an extensive consideration of long ignored concrete models with a rich case study, a discussion and classification of the many diverse kinds of models, and a particularly groundbreaking and innovative discussion of similarity concerning how models relate to the world ... his analysis is both clear and rich. * William C. Wimsatt, Biology and Philosophy *
[This book] is lively, well-written, and should be accessible to novice audiences as well as informative and provocative to disciplinary insiders. It skillfully makes use of a relatively small set of carefully explained and not-overly-complicated examples to give an account that succeeds in being sophisticated and attentive to the details of scientific practice without getting overly mired in the details of 'case studies' that sometimes plague the literature on scientific modeling. * Eric Winsberg, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews *
[Simulation and Similarity] is well written and detailed in its exposition, providing concrete examples to ground the discussion. It is a very interesting complement to standard mathematical modeling treatments for scientists, engineers, and mathematicians. * R. A. Kolvoord CHOICE *
...a compelling account of models and can be highly recommended to philosophers of science as well as to scientists of any particular discipline, especially those practicing modeling and simulation in their everydays work. * V. S. Pronskikh, Metascience *

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