|Idealization: idealization is a simplification of theories for the purpose of generalization. A) Before starting an investigation in physics, e.g. the assumption of a mass point, i.e. a practical impossibility, which, however, simplifies the calculation and delivers correct results. B) Subsequently, for example, the smoothing of the course of a curve of measured values. See also Theories, measurements. _____________Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments. |
Nancy Cartwright on Idealization - Dictionary of Arguments
They lead away from the theory - but can lead to the truth.
Idealization/Science/Cartwright: does not only omit, but introduces something that is not prescribed by the fundamental laws. - Approach: We cannot make corrections at the beginning. - We cannot correct backwards and thus assume to come out at a fundamental law -> crossover effects.
It may be that what is the correct approach is not decided by the facts. ((s)> Non-factualism). - I.e. two approaches (with different results) can be justified by the same facts - the same approach, if applied in different places, can have different results: E.g. Lamb shift: excited atom or in the base state - not a fact prescribes which is to be assumed.
Accuracy is only apparent if the initial problem is not given exactly.
Idealization/Distortion/Science/Physics/Cartwright: Example a) interested in atoms: Then distortion in the description of the field (E.g. infinite number of degrees of freedom) - b) if field is examined: then infinite degrees of freedom stored in the walls of the laser cavity, etc. - realistic: is an approach that uses more bridge principles.
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Hacking I 361
Approximation/Cartwright: Problem: approximation should lead away from confusing details - but the number of possible approximations itself is confusing - most approximate equations are themselves already simplifications of equations that you could not solve._____________Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
How the laws of physics lie Oxford New York 1983
A Neglected Theory of Truth. Philosophical Essays, Cambridge/MA pp. 71-93
Theories of Truth, Paul Horwich, Aldershot 1994
Ontology and the theory of meaning Chicago 1954
Representing and Intervening. Introductory Topics in the Philosophy of Natural Science, Cambridge/New York/Oakleigh 1983
Einführung in die Philosophie der Naturwissenschaften Stuttgart 1996