Abstract

I examine the warrants we have in light of the empirical successes of a kind of model I call ‘hybrid models’, a kind that includes climate models among its members. I argue that these warrants’ strengths depend on inferential virtues that are not just explanatory virtues, contrary to what would be the case if inference to the best explanation (IBE) provided the warrants. I also argue that the warrants in question, unlike those IBE provides, guide inferences only to model implications about which there is real uncertainty. My conclusion provides criteria of adequacy for epistemologies of climate and other hybrid models.

  • 1Introduction

  • 2Inference to the Best Explanation and Beyond

  • 3Hybrid Models and Explanatory-Instrumental Virtues

  • 4Climate Models and Explanatory-Instrumental Virtues

  • 5A Simple Energy Balance Model

  • 6Hybrid Models and Inferential Holism

  • 7Conclusions

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