Alexander Rueger

Learn More
Philosophers like Duhem and Cartwright have argued that there is a tension between laws' abilities to explain and to represent. Abstract laws exemplify the first quality, phenomenological laws the second. This view has both metaphysical and methodological aspects: the world is too complex to be represented by simple theories; supplementing simple theories(More)
The preference for `reductive explanations', i.e., explanations of the behaviour of a system at one `basic' level of sub-systems, seems to be related, at least in the physical sciences, to the success of a formal technique –- perturbation theory –- for extracting insight into the workings of a system from a supposedly exact but intractable mathematical(More)
Given that scientific realism is based on the assumption that there is a connection between a model’s predictive success and its truth, and given the success of multiple incompatible models in scientific practice, the realist has a problem. When the different models can be shown to arise as different approximations to a unified theory, however, one might(More)
I argue that an adequate understanding of the practice of constructing models in physics requires a distinction between two strategies that are commonly both labeled ‘idealization’. The formal characteristic of both methods is to let a parameter in the equations for a target system go to zero. But the discussion of examples from various applications of(More)