Paraconsistency, Pluralistic Models and Reasoning in Climate Science

Bryson Brown
2017 Mente Journal of Philosophical Studies   unpublished
Scientific inquiry is typically focused on particular questions about particular objects and properties. This leads to a multiplicity of models which, even when they draw on a single, consistent body of concepts and principles, often employ different methods and assumptions to model different systems. Pluralists have remarked on how scientists draw on different assumptions to model different systems, different aspects of systems and systems under different conditions and defended the value of
more » ... nded the value of distinct, incompatible models within science at any given time. (Cartwright, 1999; Chang, 2012) Paraconsistentists have proposed logical strategies to avoid trivialization when inconsistencies arise by a variety of means.(Batens, 2001; Brown, 1990; Brown, 2002) Here we examine how chunk and permeate, a simple approach to paraconsistent reasoning which avoids heterodox logic by confining commitments to separate contexts in which reasoning with them is taken to be reliable while allowing 'permeation' of some conclusions into other contexts, can help to systematize pluralistic reasoning across the boundaries of plural contexts, using regional climate models as an example.(Benham et al., 2014; Brown & Priest 2004, 2015) The result is a kind of unity for science-but a unity achieved by the constrained exchange of specified information between different contexts, rather than the closure of all commitments under some paraconsistent consequence relation.