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Laplace's demon and the adventures of his apprentices

Frigg, Roman, Bradley, Seamus, Du, Hailiang and Smith, Leonard A. (2014) Laplace's demon and the adventures of his apprentices. Philosophy of Science, 81 (1). pp. 31-59. ISSN 0031-8248

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Abstract

The sensitive dependence on initial conditions (SDIC) associated with nonlinear models imposes limitations on the models’ predictive power. We draw attention to an additional limitation than has been under-appreciated, namely structural model error (SME). A model has SME if the model-dynamics differ from the dynamics in the target system. If a nonlinear model has only the slightest SME, then its ability to generate decision-relevant predictions is compromised. Given a perfect model, we can take the effects of SDIC into account by substituting probabilistic predictions for point predictions. This route is foreclosed in the case of SME.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://www.press.uchicago.edu/ucp/journals/journal...
Additional Information: © 2014 Philosophy of Science Association. Published by University of Chicago Press
Library of Congress subject classification: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Sets: Departments > Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
Departments > Statistics
Research centres and groups > Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science (CPNSS)
Research centres and groups > Centre for the Analysis of Time Series (CATS)
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2013 11:22
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/54817/

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