Axel Gelfert

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The present paper argues that 'mature mathematical formalisms' play a central role in achieving representation via scientic models. A close discussion of two contemporary accounts of how mathematical models apply-the DDI account (according to which representation depends on the successful interplay of denotation, demonstration and interpretation) and the(More)
This paper argues that a successful philosophical analysis of models and simulations must accommodate an account of mathematically rigorous results. Such rigorous results may be thought of as genuinely model-specific contributions, which can neither be deduced from fundamental theory nor inferred from empirical data. Rigorous results provide new indirect(More)
The absence of finite-temperature phase transitions in low-dimensional many-body models: a survey and new results * Axel Gelfert Abstract After a brief discussion of the Bogoliubov inequality and possible generalizations thereof, we present a complete review of results concerning the Mermin-Wagner theorem for various many-body systems, geometries and order(More)
In its original form due to Ian Hacking, entity realism postulates a criterion of manipulative success which replaces explanatory virtue as the criterion of justified scientific belief. The article analyses the foundations on which this postulate rests and identifies the conditions on which one can derive a form of entity realism from it. It then develops(More)
Among contemporary epistemologists of testimony, David Hume is standardly regarded as a 'global reductionist', where global reductionism requires the hearer to have sufficient first-hand knowledge of the facts in order to individually ascertain the reliability of the testimony in question. In the present paper, I argue that, by construing Hume's(More)
The possibility of a magnetic phase transition in Heisenberg, Hub-bard, and s-f (Kondo-lattice) films is investigated. It is shown that, for any finite temperature (β < ∞) and any finite number of layers (d < ∞), the magnetization within every layer must vanish. Thus, the Mermin-Wagner theorem is extended to a variety of system ge-ometries. We also comment(More)
This paper contrasts and compares strategies of model-building in condensed matter physics and biology, with respect to their alleged unequal susceptibility to trade-offs between different theoretical desiderata. It challenges the view, often expressed in the philosophical literature on trade-offs in population biology, that the existence of systematic(More)
According to the " experimenter " s regress " , disputes about the validity of experimental results cannot be closed by objective facts because no conclusive criteria other than the outcome of the experiment itself exist for deciding whether the experimental apparatus was functioning properly or not. Given the frequent characterization of simulations as "(More)