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# Desiderata of Theories - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Desiderata of Theories. Accuracy of Prediction Adequacy of Explanation Adherence to Conceptual ‘Facts’ Fecundity Elegance / Simplicity. What is ‘Elegance’, Anyway?. Ptolemy’s System. Let’s see how it stacks up. Desiderata of Theories. Accuracy of Prediction Does fairly well here

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## PowerPoint Slideshow about ' Desiderata of Theories' - franz

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Presentation Transcript

• Accuracy of Prediction

• Fecundity

• Elegance / Simplicity

Let’s see how it stacks up

• Accuracy of Prediction

• Does fairly well here

• http://jove.geol.niu.edu/faculty/stoddard/JAVA/ptolemy.html

• http://zebu.uoregon.edu/~soper/Orbits/ptolemy.html

• This one is more complex (but handles retrograde and variable brightness)

• What about the ‘minor’ desiderata?

• Fecundity

• How does it do on this score?

• Simplicity / Elegance

• Does the model reflect the way the world really is?

• Can we know this?

• Should we care?

What is this?

Theories and models are just tools for making accurate predictions for whatever phenomena we care about

It is not necessary for theories or models to be literally true in order to be able to account for the various data

• What is this?

• Theories and models are literal reflections of the way the world really is

• Without being literally true, theories and models would have no ‘explanatory power’

Mathematical Realism

Mathematical Instrumentalism