David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2006)
The word “model” is highly ambiguous, and there is no uniform terminology used by either scientists or philosophers. Here, a model is considered to be a representation of some object, behavior, or system that one wants to understand. This article presents the most common type of models found in science as well as the different relations—traditionally called “analogies”—between models and between a given model and its subject. Although once considered merely heuristic devices, they are now seen as indispensable to modern science. There are many different types of models used across the scientific disciplines, although there is no uniform terminology to classify them. The most familiar are physical models such as scale replicas of bridges or airplanes. These, like all models, are used because of their “analogies” to the subjects of the models. A scale model airplane has a structural similarity or “material analogy” to the full scale version. This correspondence allows engineers to infer dynamic properties of the airplane based on wind tunnel experiments on the replica. Physical models also include abstract representations which often include idealizations such as frictionless planes and point masses. Another, but completely different type of model, is constituted by sets of equations. These mathematical models were not always deemed legitimate models by philosophers. Model-to-subject and model-to-model relations are described using several different types of analogies: positive, negative, neutral, material, and formal.
|Keywords||model models science analogies analogy physical|
|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
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Michael J. White (1992). The Continuous and the Discrete: Ancient Physical Theories From a Contemporary Perspective. Oxford University Press.
Roman Frigg & Stephan Hartmann (2005). Scientific Models. In Sahotra Sarkar et al (ed.), The Philosophy of Science: An Encyclopedia, Vol. 2. Routledge.
Susan G. Sterrett (2002). Physical Models and Fundamental Laws: Using One Piece of the World to Tell About Another. [REVIEW] Mind and Society 3 (1):51-66.
Peter Achinstein (1964). Models, Analogies, and Theories. Philosophy of Science 31 (4):328-350.
Mary S. Morgan (1997). The Technology of Analogical Models: Irving Fisher's Monetary Worlds. Philosophy of Science 64 (4):314.
Roman Frigg (2008). Models in Science. In Edward N. Zalta (ed.), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Stephan Hartmann & Roman Frigg (2006). Models in Science. In Ed Zalta (ed.), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Stanford.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads56 ( #26,424 of 1,096,547 )
Recent downloads (6 months)7 ( #28,951 of 1,096,547 )
How can I increase my downloads?