Idealization

Idealization is the process by which scientific models assume facts about the phenomenon being modeled that are strictly false but make models easier to understand or solve. That is, it is determined whether the phenomenon approximates an "ideal case," then the model is applied to make a prediction based on that ideal case.

If an approximation is accurate, the model will have high predictive accuracy; for example, it is not usually necessary to account for air resistance when determining the acceleration of a falling bowling ball, and doing so would be more complicated. In this case, air resistance is idealized to be zero. Although this is not strictly true, it is a good approximation because its effect is negligible compared to that of gravity.

Idealizations may allow predictions to be made when none otherwise could be. For example, the approximation of air resistance as zero was the only option before the formulation of Stokes' law allowed the calculation of drag forces. Many debates surrounding the usefulness of a particular model are about the appropriateness of different idealizations.

Read more about Idealization:  Early Use, Limits On Use

Other articles related to "idealization":

Colonial Mentality - The Spanish Empire - The Philippines - Physical Consequences
... Many Filipinos believe that the idealization of fair skin had its roots during the Spanish colonization ... One of the more adverse physical consequences in the idealization and acceptance of the racial concepts of colonial mentality can be seen in the high rate of consumer demand for skin bleaching products used by ... the Filipino ideal and colonial doctrine of the idealization of mestizo beauty to the greatest extreme ...
Idealization And Devaluation - Kernberg
... Otto Kernberg has provided an extensive discussion of idealization, both in its defensive and adaptive aspects ... He conceptualised idealization as involving a denial of unwanted characteristics of an object, then enhancing the object by projecting one’s own libido or omnipotence on it ... line with one end of the continuum being a normal form of idealization and the other end a pathological form ...
Idealization - Limits On Use
... While idealization is used extensively by certain scientific disciplines, it has been traditionally rejected by others ... For instance, Edmund Husserl recognized the importance of idealization but opposed its application to the study of the mind, holding that mental phenomena do not ... Although idealization is considered one of the essential elements of modern science, it is nonetheless the source of continued controversy in the literature of the philosophy of science ...
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... The translator Arthur Waley noted that, "A certain idealization of the 'noble savage' is to be found fairly often in early Chinese literature", citing the Zuozhuan ...
Idealization And Devaluation - Freud
... The term idealization first appeared in connection with Freud’s definition of narcissism ... Explanations of the idealization of others besides the self are sought in drive theory as well as in object-relation theory ... From the viewpoint of libidinal drives, idealization of other people is a "flowing-over" of narcissistic libido onto the object from the viewpoint of self-object relations, the object representations ...