Multiple Models

October 2, 2018 - October 3, 2018
TINT, Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence for the Philosophy of the Social Sciences, University of Helsinki

Fabianinkatu 33
Helsinki 00100

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University of Helsinki
Tilburg University
University of Helsinki

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Complex phenomena often require complex explanations. In simple cases, a single model can explain a phenomenon by identifying its causes. But to fully explain a complex phenomenon, we often require systems of models: complex events may have multiple causes, which can only be captured by an array of models. 

The aim of the workshop is to focus on the epistemic value of using multiple models and the conditions that allow scientists to compare, expand and merge different models, so as to combine the knowledge claims we derive from them and obtain new ones. To this purpose, we aim at bringing together social scientists and philosophers interested in multiple models and their use in scientific practice 

We invite submissions of abstracts (750 words) before 15 July 2018 to [email protected]. The authors accepted for the workshop are required to submit an extended summary (2000 - 2500 words) before the event. Extended summaries will be distributed to all participants in advance. 

Questions we will address include (but are not limited to): 

  • Is it possible, and if so how, to work with sets of models that at times are complementary, at times inconsistent, and yet at other times not clearly comparable with each other?
  • What can we learn from multiple models?
  • How can we make sense of a specific entity or phenomenon in spite of the multiplicity of models that describe it? 
  • What are the conditions under which we can compare, match or merge different models? 

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