Robustness Analysis and Tractability in Modeling

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Lisciandra, Chiara
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preprint description
In the philosophy of science and epistemology literature, robustness analysis has become an umbrella term that refers to a variety of strategies. One of the main purposes of this paper is to argue that different strategies rely on different criteria for justifications. More specifically, I will claim that: i) robustness analysis differs from de-idealization even though the two concepts have often been conflated in the literature; ii) the comparison of different model frameworks requires different justifications than the comparison of models that differ only for the assumption under test; iii) the replacement of specific assumptions with different ones can encounter specific difficulties in scientific practice. These claims will be supported by a case study in population ecology and a case study in geographical economics.