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Models of Mechanisms: The Case of the Replicator Dynamics
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, Philosophy.
2013 (English)In: Mechanism and Causality in Biology and Economics / [ed] Hsiang-Ke Chao, Szu-Ting Chen, Roberta L. Millstein, Springer Berlin/Heidelberg, 2013, 83-100 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The general replicator dynamics (RD) is a formal equation that is used in biology to represent biological mechanisms and in the social sciences to represent social mechanisms. For either of these purposes, I show that substantial idealisations have to be made – idealisations that differ for the respective disciplines. These create a considerable idealisation gap between the biologically interpreted RD and the learning interpretations of the RD. I therefore argue that these interpretations represent different mechanisms, even though they are interpretations of the same formal RD equation. Furthermore, I argue that this idealisation gap between the biological and economic models is too wide for the respective mechanisms to share a common abstract causal structure that could be represented by the general RD model.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Berlin/Heidelberg, 2013. 83-100 p.
, History, Philosophy and Theory of the Life Sciences, ISSN 2211-1948 ; 3:2013
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URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-137436DOI: 10.1007/978-94-007-2454-9_5ISBN: 978-94-007-2453-2OAI: diva2:679001

QC 20140127

Available from: 2013-12-13 Created: 2013-12-13 Last updated: 2014-01-27Bibliographically approved

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