Models and representation: Why structures are not enough

Models occupy a central role in the scientific endeavour. Among the many purposes they serve, representation is of great importance. Many models are representations of something else; they stand for, depict, or imitate a selected part of the external world (often referred to as target system, parent system, original, or prototype). Well-known examples include the model of the solar system, the billiard ball model of a gas, the Bohr model of the atom, the Gaussian-chain model of a polymer, the MIT bag model of quark confinement, the Lorenz model of the atmosphere, the Lotka-Volterra model of the predator-prey interaction, or the hydraulic model of an economy, to mention just a few. All these models represent their target systems (or selected parts of them) in one way or another.
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Marion Vorms (2011). Representing with Imaginary Models: Formats Matter. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 42 (2):287-295.

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