Models and Decisions Conference 2013

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Idea and Motivation

Mathematical and computational models are central to decision-making in a wide-variety of contexts in science and policy: They are used to assess the risk of large investments, to evaluate the merits of alternative medical therapies, and are often key in decisions on international policies – climate policy being one of the most prominent examples. In many of these cases, they assist in drawing conclusions from complex assumptions. While the value of these models is undisputed, their increasingly widespread use raises several philosophical questions: What makes scientific models so important? In which way do they describe, or even explain their target systems? What makes models so reliable? And: What are the imports, and the limits, of using models in policy making?

This conference will bring together philosophers of science, economists, statisticians and policy makers to discuss these and related questions. Experts from a variety of field will exchange first-hand experience and insights in order to identify the assets and the pitfalls of model-based decision-making. The conference will also address and evaluate the increasing role of model-based research in scientific practice, both from a practical and from a philosophical point of view.

Papers are welcomed from researchers across philosophy and science, including papers emphasizing the development of models (or the use of models for decision-making) through the history of their respective disciplines.

The Munich-Sydney-Tilburg Conference Series

This series of annual conferences is a joint undertaking between the Sydney Centre for the Foundations of Science (SCFS), the Tilburg Center for Logic and Philosophy of Science (TiLPS) and, since 2012, the MCMP. For a list of previous conferences, click here.