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Nature the Artful Modeler: Lectures on Laws, Science, How Nature Arranges the World, and How We Can Arrange It Better. The 2017 Carus Lectures

Cartwright, Nancy (2019) 'Nature the Artful Modeler: Lectures on Laws, Science, How Nature Arranges the World, and How We Can Arrange It Better. The 2017 Carus Lectures.', . The Paul Carus Lectures.

Abstract

How fixed are the happenings in Nature and how are they fixed? These lectures address what our scientific successes at predicting and manipulating the world around us suggest in answer. One--very orthodox--account teaches that the sciences offer general truths that we combine with local facts to derive our expectations about what will happen, either naturally or when we build a device to design, be it a laser, a washing machine, an anti-malarial bed net, or an auction for the airwaves. In these three 2017 Carus Lectures Nancy Cartwright offers a different picture, one in which neither we, nor Nature, have such nice rules to go by. Getting real predictions about real happenings is an engineering enterprise that makes clever use of a great variety of different kinds of knowledge, with few real derivations in sight anywhere. It takes artful modeling. Orthodoxy would have it that how we do it is not reflective of how Nature does it. It is, rather, a consequence of human epistemic limitations. That, Cartwright argues, is to put our reasoning just back to front. We should read our image of what Nature is like from the way our sciences work when they work best in getting us around in it, non plump for a pre-set image of how Nature must work to derive what an ideal science, freed of human failings, would be like. Putting the order of inference right way around implies that like us, Nature too is an artful modeler

Item Type:Book
Full text:Publisher-imposed embargo
(AM) Accepted Manuscript
File format - PDF
(2085Kb)
Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:https://shop.aer.io/open_court/p/Nature_the_Artful_Modeler_Lectures_on_Laws_Science/9780812694680-8963
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:16 December 2021
Date of first online publication:07 May 2019
Date first made open access:No date available

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