Argumenta – Journal of Analytic Philosophy


KISSing in the Time of COVID-19: Some Lessons for Model Choice [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 13 • Author/s: Till Grüne-Yanoff
Topics: Epidemiology, Epistemology, Philosophy of science

I present and analyze the case of COVID-19 modeling at the Public Health Agency of Sweden (FoHM) between February 2020 and May 2021. The analysis casts the case as a decision problem: mod­elers choose from a strategically prepared menu that model which they have reasons to believe will best serve their current purpose. Specifically, I argue that the model choice at FoHM concerned a trade-off between model-target similarity and model simplicity. Five reasons for choosing to engage in such a trade-off are discussed: lack of information, avoiding overfitting, avoiding fuzzy…

Empirical Success, Closeness to Evidence, and Approximation to the Truth [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 17 • Author/s: Gustavo Cevolani, Luca Tambolo
Topics: Epistemology, Metaphysics, Philosophy of language, Philosophy of science, Theoretical philosophy

Realists and antirealists agree that different theories can be more or less empirically successful, even if they disagree on how to interpret this fact. Most of their arguments rely on how the notion of success is understood; still, few definitions of success are available, and their adequacy is doubtful. In this paper, we discuss some of these definitions and introduce a new measure of the success of a theory relative to a body of evidence aimed at overcoming some of their limitations. We moreover discuss how empirical success is connected…