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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Let’s see how it stacks up
Realism about Theories
Instrumentalism about Theories
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’s this about?
Mathematical analyses are simply handy ways to get some practical stuff done
Nothing about the nature of the world follows from the success (or failure) of any given mathematical model
Athenian – circa 427 (or 428) to 348 (or so) BCE