David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 42 (2):262-271 (2011)
The recent discussion on scientific representation has focused on models and their relationship to the real world. It has been assumed that models give us knowledge because they represent their supposed real target systems. However, here agreement among philosophers of science has tended to end as they have presented widely different views on how representation should be understood. I will argue that the traditional representational approach is too limiting as regards the epistemic value of modelling given the focus on the relationship between a single model and its supposed target system, and the neglect of the actual representational means with which scientists construct models. I therefore suggest an alternative account of models as epistemic tools. This amounts to regarding them as concrete artefacts that are built by specific representational means and are constrained by their design in such a way that they facilitate the study of certain scientific questions, and learning from them by means of construction and manipulation.
|Keywords||Scientific mod Epistemic tools Representation Modelling|
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References found in this work BETA
Anna Alexandrova (2006). Connecting Economic Models to the Real World: Game Theory and the Fcc Spectrum Auctions. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 36 (2):173-192.
Daniela M. Bailer-Jones (2003). When Scientific Models Represent. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 17 (1):59 – 74.
Andreas Bartels (2006). Defending the Structural Concept of Representation. Theoria 21 (55):7-19.
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Citations of this work BETA
Tarja Knuuttila & Mieke Boon (2011). How Do Models Give Us Knowledge? The Case of Carnot's Ideal Heat Engine. European Journal for Philosophy of Science 1 (3):309-334.
Ashley Graham Kennedy (2012). A Non Representationalist View of Model Explanation. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 43 (2):326-332.
Sara Green (2013). When One Model is Not Enough: Combining Epistemic Tools in Systems Biology. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (2):170-180.
Axel Gelfert (2013). Synthetic Biology Between Technoscience and Thing Knowledge. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (2):141-149.
Ekaterina Svetlova (2013). De-Idealization by Commentary: The Case of Financial Valuation Models. Synthese 190 (2):321-337.
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