Realism about the complexity of physical systems without realist commitments to their scientific representations: How to get the advantages of theft without honest toil

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Imbert, Cyrille
conference paper description
This paper shows that, under certain reasonable conditions, if the investigation of the behavior of a physical system is difficult, no scientific change can make it significantly easier. This impossibility result implies that complexity is then a necessary feature of models which truly represent the target system and of all models which are rich enough to catch its behavior and therefore that it is an inevitable element of any possible science in which this behavior is accounted for. I finally argue that complexity can then be seen as representing an intrinsic feature of the system itself.