HPS Colloquium: Corey Dethier


Location: Virtual

"Moving Beyond Agreement: Asking Different Questions about the Epistemology of Climate Models"

To date, the philosophical literature on the use of "ensembles'' of climate models has largely focused on the value of agreement across different models and largely concluded that extant ensembles provide little in the way of epistemic benefits. I think that this is a mistake. In this talk, I show that in many cases, agreement plays no role in the reasoning of climate scientists. Instead, climate scientists draw evidence from ensembles via the application of statistics. The benefit of this practice is that it allows climate scientists to better estimate the appropriate degree of uncertainty. Once we shift our attention away from agreement and to the application of statistical tools, the main in-principle concern raised in the discussion of agreement becomes a practical problem of choosing the correct statistical model for the given ensemble.

Corey is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Philosophy and honorary alumnus of the HPS program.


For more information, including the Zoom meeting ID, please contact Sam Hall (shall9@nd.edu).