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Sloppy Models, Renormalization Group Realism, and the Success of Science

Freeborn, David Peter Wallis (2023) Sloppy Models, Renormalization Group Realism, and the Success of Science. [Preprint]

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Abstract

The "sloppy models" program originated in systems biology, but has seen applications across a range of fields. Sloppy models are dependent on a large number of parameters, but highly insensitive to the vast majority of parameter combinations. Sloppy models proponents claim that the program may explain the success of science. I argue that the sloppy models program can at best provide a very partial explanation. Drawing a parallel with renormalization group realism, I argue that it would only give us grounds for a minimal kind of scientific realism. Nonetheless, the program can offer certain epistemic virtues.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Freeborn, David Peter Wallisdfreebor@uci.edu0000-0002-2117-8145
Keywords: sloppy models; models; renormalization; scientific realism; model spaces; quantum field theory; renormalization group; modeling; computational models; philosophy of biology; philosophy of physics; systems biology; biology; high energy physics; selective realism;
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology
Specific Sciences > Computation/Information
General Issues > Computer Simulation
General Issues > Models and Idealization
Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Field Theory
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
General Issues > Reductionism/Holism
General Issues > Theory Change
Depositing User: David Freeborn
Date Deposited: 08 Jul 2023 13:20
Last Modified: 08 Jul 2023 13:20
Item ID: 22290
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology
Specific Sciences > Computation/Information
General Issues > Computer Simulation
General Issues > Models and Idealization
Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Field Theory
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
General Issues > Reductionism/Holism
General Issues > Theory Change
Date: 7 July 2023
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/22290

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