Don’t Blame the Idealizations

Citation data:

Journal for General Philosophy of Science, ISSN: 0925-4560, Vol: 44, Issue: 1, Page: 85-100

Publication Year:
2013
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Repository URL:
http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/10095
DOI:
10.1007/s10838-013-9206-8
Author(s):
Jones, Nicholaos
Publisher(s):
Springer Nature; Springer
Tags:
Arts and Humanities; Social Sciences
article description
Idealizing conditions are scapegoats for scientific hypotheses, too often blamed for falsehood better attributed to less obvious sources. But while the tendency to blame idealizations is common among both philosophers of science and scientists themselves, the blame is misplaced. Attention to the nature of idealizing conditions, the content of idealized hypotheses, and scientists' attitudes toward those hypotheses shows that idealizing conditions are blameless when hypotheses misrepresent. These conditions help to determine the content of idealized hypotheses, and they do so in a way that prevents those hypotheses from being false by virtue of their constituent idealizations. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.