Isolating representations versus credible constructions? Economic modelling in theory and practice

Erkenntnis 70 (1):59 - 80 (2009)
This paper examines two recent approaches to the nature and functioning of economic models: models as isolating representations and models as credible constructions. The isolationist view conceives of economic models as surrogate systems that isolate some of the causal mechanisms or tendencies of their respective target systems, while the constructionist approach treats them rather like pure constructions or fictional entities that nevertheless license different kinds of inferences. I will argue that whereas the isolationist view is still tied to the representationalist understanding of models that takes the model-target dyad as the basic unit of analysis, the constructionist perspective can better accommodate the way we actually acquire knowledge through them. Using the example of Tobin’s ultra-Keynesian model I will show how many of the epistemic characteristics of modelling tend to go unrecognised if too much focus is placed on the model-target dyad.
Keywords Philosophy   Logic   Ethics   Ontology   Epistemology   Philosophy
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.2307/40267408
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,667
External links
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
Michael Weisberg (2007). Who is a Modeler? British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 58 (2):207 - 233.

View all 33 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

View all 8 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

60 ( #56,899 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

11 ( #61,095 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.