When scientific models represent

Scientific models represent aspects of the empirical world. I explore to what extent this representational relationship, given the specific properties of models, can be analysed in terms of propositions to which truth or falsity can be attributed. For example, models frequently entail false propositions despite the fact that they are intended to say something "truthful" about phenomena. I argue that the representational relationship is constituted by model users "agreeing" on the function of a model, on the fit with data and on the aspects of a phenomenon that are modelled. Model users weigh the propositions entailed by a model and from this decide which of these propositions are crucial to the acceptance and continued use of the model. Thus, models represent phenomena when certain propositions they entail are true, but this alone does not exhaust the representational relationship. Therefore, the constraints that produce the choice of the relevant propositions in a model must also be examined and their analysis contributes to understanding the relationship between models and phenomena
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DOI 10.1080/02698590305238
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Stuart Glennan (2005). Modeling Mechanisms. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 36 (2):443-464.
Sebastian Lutz (2012). On a Straw Man in the Philosophy of Science: A Defense of the Received View. Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 2 (1):77–120.
Agnes Bolinska (forthcoming). Successful Visual Epistemic Representation. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A.

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