[SydPhil] MQ Philosophy Talk: Tuesday, 29 May, 1-2pm, Blackshield room: Patrick McGivern (UOW)

Michael Olson michael.olson at mq.edu.au
Fri May 25 09:35:55 AEST 2018

Toy Models and Understanding

Patrick McGivern (Wollongong)

Date: 29 May
Time: 13:00-14:00
Venue: Blackshield Room, W3A (6 First Walk) 501*
All welcome

*Note the changing venues this semester

Abstract: Many sciences make use of drastically simplified ‘toy models’, such as the Schelling model of residential segregation. A key problem in accounting for the use of such models is to make sense of how they can be informative despite these drastic simplifications. A prominent suggestion is that such models can be used to develop understanding, rather than providing genuine explanations. The idea behind the suggestion is that understanding is a unique epistemic category that is not-factive: understanding a particular phenomenon doesn’t require an account of how that phenomenon actually develops, but instead requires some other kind of information, such as information on essential features, counter-factual behaviour or something similar. Obviously, the value of this suggestion depends on how plausible the associated account of understanding is. Accordingly, in this paper I assess this suggestion about how to understand toy models by evaluating it with regard to several prominent accounts of understanding from recent epistemology.
Contact: Adam Hochman (adam.hochman at mq.edu.au<mailto:adam.hochman at mq.edu.au>) or Mike Olson (michael.olson at mq.edu.au<mailto:michael.olson at mq.edu.au>)

A google calendar with details of other events in this series is available here<https://protect-au.mimecast.com/s/6_m4CD1jy9tQqGMPtW4jRA?domain=michael-olson.com>.


Dr Michael Olson
Lecturer, Modern European Philosophy

Department of Philosophy  |   2nd Floor, Australian Hearing Hub
Macquarie University, NSW 2109, Australia

T: +61 2 9850 6895<tel:%2B61%202%209850%206895>  |  arts.mq.edu.au<http://arts.mq.edu.au/>  |  www.michael-olson.com<https://protect-au.mimecast.com/s/I0lECE8kz9tKLXnPiwR3Cf?domain=michael-olson.com>

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