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Confirmation and Robustness of Climate Models

Philosophy of Science
Vol. 77, No. 5 (December 2010), pp. 971-984
DOI: 10.1086/657427
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/657427
Page Count: 14
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Confirmation and Robustness of Climate Models
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Abstract

Recent philosophical attention to climate models has highlighted their weaknesses and uncertainties. Here I address the ways that models gain support through observational data. I review examples of model fit, variety of evidence, and independent support for aspects of the models, contrasting my analysis with that of other philosophers. I also investigate model robustness, which often emerges when comparing climate models simulating the same time period or set of conditions. Starting from Michael Weisberg's analysis of robustness, I conclude that his approach involves a version of reasoning from variety of evidence, enabling this robustness to be a confirmatory virtue

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