David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
The usual question, “Are models fictions?” is replaced by the question, “Should scientific models be regarded as works of fiction?” This makes it clear that the issue is not one of definition but of interpretation. First one must distinguish between the ontology of scientific models and their function in the practice of science. Theoretical models and works of fiction are ontologically on a par, their both being creations of human imagination. It is their differing functions in practice that makes it inappropriate to regard scientific models as works of fiction. Three reasons for thinking scientific models should be regarded as works of fiction are rejected. First, scientists themselves sometimes invoke the idea of fictions in their discussions of specific models. Second, many scientific models are physically impossible to realize in the real world. Third, regarding scientific models as works of fiction supports a general fictionalist understanding of scientific theories. It is concluded that promoting the general idea that scientific models are works of fiction unnecessarily supports attacks on the legitimacy of science itself.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Peter Godfrey-Smith (2009). Models and Fictions in Science. Philosophical Studies 143 (1):101 - 116.
Similar books and articles
Ronald Giere (2010). An Agent-Based Conception of Models and Scientific Representation. Synthese 172 (2):269–281.
Alisa Bokulich (2011). How Scientific Models Can Explain. Synthese 180 (1):33 - 45.
Ronald N. Giere (2001). The Nature and Function of Models. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (6):1060-1060.
Adam Toon (2011). Playing with Molecules. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 42 (4):580-589.
Adam Toon (2010). Models as Make-Believe. In Roman Frigg & Matthew Hunter (eds.), Beyond Mimesis and Convention: Representation in Art and Science. Boston Studies in Philosophy of Science.
Daniela M. Bailer-Jones (2002). Scientists' Thoughts on Scientific Models. Perspectives on Science 10 (3):275-301.
S. Ducheyne (2008). Towards an Ontology of Scientific Models. Metaphysica 9 (1):119-127.
Roman Frigg (2010). Models and Fiction. Synthese 172 (2):251 - 268.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads125 ( #6,681 of 1,096,216 )
Recent downloads (6 months)8 ( #21,185 of 1,096,216 )
How can I increase my downloads?