Approximation and Idealization : Why the Difference Matters

@inproceedings{Norton2011ApproximationAI,
  title={Approximation and Idealization : Why the Difference Matters},
  author={John D. Norton},
  year={2011}
}
It is proposed that we use the term “approximation” for inexact description of a target system and “idealization” for another system whose properties also provide an inexact description of the target system. Since systems generated by a limiting process can often have quite unexpected, even inconsistent properties, familiar limit processes used in statistical physics can fail to provide idealizations, but merely provide approximations. 

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