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Against "Possibilist" Interpretations of Climate Models

Dethier, Corey (2022) Against "Possibilist" Interpretations of Climate Models. In: UNSPECIFIED.

Dethier - AP 22.05.27.pdf

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Climate scientists frequently employ (groups of) heavily idealized models. How should these models be interpreted? A number of philosophers have suggested that a possibilist interpretation might be preferable, where this entails interpreting climate models as standing in for possible scenarios that could occur, but not as providing any sort of information about how probable those scenarios are. The present paper argues that possibilism is (a) undermotivated by the philosophical and empirical arguments that have been advanced in the literature, (b) incompatible with successful practices in the science, and (c) liable to present a less accurate picture of the current state of research and/or uncertainty than probabilistic alternatives. There are good arguments to be had about how precisely to interpret climate models but our starting point should be that the models provide evidence relevant to the evaluation of hypotheses concerning the actual world in at least some cases.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Dethier, Coreycorey.dethier@gmail.com0000-0002-1240-8391
Keywords: climate models; probabilities; possibilities; possibilism
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Climate Science and Meteorology
Depositing User: Dr. Corey Dethier
Date Deposited: 28 May 2022 14:59
Last Modified: 28 May 2022 14:59
Item ID: 20680
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Climate Science and Meteorology
Date: 2022

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