UoB BMVP Elay Shech Graduate Seminar: Infinite Idealizations in Science

2 July 2018, 2.00 PM - 2 July 2018, 3.00 PM

Professor Elay Shech, Auburn University, Alabama, USA

LT1, 43 Woodland Road

Elay Shech is a philosopher specializing in philosophy of science and philosophy of physics. However, his research interests are broad and cover a wide range of areas in philosophy including aesthetics and the philosophy of art, philosophy of mathematics, and history of science.

Infinite idealizations are assumptions that play an important role in physics, biology, economics, and many others sciences. Putative examples include an infinite population size in population genetics, an infinite number of physical components of a system in the theory of phase transitions and an infinite number of persons consuming an infinite number of (infinitely divisible) goods in large-scale economic models. Although these idealizations are generally uncontroversial in the scientific community, they have been at the center of recent philosophical debates about reduction, explanation and the status of models in science. In this seminar we'll review an important distinction between idealization and approximation by John Norton (2012), and continue to look at several recent papers forthcoming in a special issue of Synthese on infinite idealization in science.

Core Reading
Additional Reading


Contact information

Please contact Professor Shech's host  Dr Karim Thebault (Philosophy)