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Using models to correct data: paleodiversity and the fossil record

Using models to correct data: paleodiversity and the fossil record Synthese https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-018-1820-x S.I.: ABSTRACTION AND IDEALIZATION IN SCIENTIFIC MODELLING Using models to correct data: paleodiversity and the fossil record Alisa Bokulich Received: 14 August 2017 / Accepted: 17 May 2018 © Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018 Abstract Despite an enormous philosophical literature on models in science, surpris- ingly little has been written about data models and how they are constructed. In this paper, I examine the case of how paleodiversity data models are constructed from the fossil data. In particular, I show how paleontologists are using various model-based techniques to correct the data. Drawing on this research, I argue for the following related theses: first, the ‘purity’ of a data model is not a measure of its epistemic reliability. Instead it is the fidelity of the data that matters. Second, the fidelity of a data model in capturing the signal of interest is a matter of degree. Third, the fidelity of a data model can be improved ‘vicariously’, such as through the use of post hoc model-based correction techniques. And, fourth, data models, like theoretical models, should be assessed as adequate (or inadequate) for particular purposes. Keywords Paleontology · Paleobiology · Evolution · Data · http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Synthese Springer Journals

Using models to correct data: paleodiversity and the fossil record

Synthese , Volume OnlineFirst – May 29, 2018

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 by Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature
Subject
Philosophy; Philosophy of Science; Epistemology; Logic; Philosophy of Language; Metaphysics
ISSN
0039-7857
eISSN
1573-0964
DOI
10.1007/s11229-018-1820-x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Synthese https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-018-1820-x S.I.: ABSTRACTION AND IDEALIZATION IN SCIENTIFIC MODELLING Using models to correct data: paleodiversity and the fossil record Alisa Bokulich Received: 14 August 2017 / Accepted: 17 May 2018 © Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018 Abstract Despite an enormous philosophical literature on models in science, surpris- ingly little has been written about data models and how they are constructed. In this paper, I examine the case of how paleodiversity data models are constructed from the fossil data. In particular, I show how paleontologists are using various model-based techniques to correct the data. Drawing on this research, I argue for the following related theses: first, the ‘purity’ of a data model is not a measure of its epistemic reliability. Instead it is the fidelity of the data that matters. Second, the fidelity of a data model in capturing the signal of interest is a matter of degree. Third, the fidelity of a data model can be improved ‘vicariously’, such as through the use of post hoc model-based correction techniques. And, fourth, data models, like theoretical models, should be assessed as adequate (or inadequate) for particular purposes. Keywords Paleontology · Paleobiology · Evolution · Data ·

Journal

SyntheseSpringer Journals

Published: May 29, 2018

References