David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Synthese 180 (1):3 - 17 (2011)
A natural way to think of models is as abstract entities. If theories employ models to represent the world, theories traffic in abstract entities much more widely than is often assumed. This kind of thought seems to create a problem for a scientific realist approach to theories. Scientific realists claim theories should be understood literally. Do they then imply (and are they committed to) the reality of abstract entities? Or are theories simply—and incurably—false (if there are no abstract entities)? Or has the very idea of literal understanding to be abandoned? Is then fictionalism towards scientific theories inevitable? This paper argues that scientific realism can happily co-exist with models qua abstracta
|Keywords||Scientific realism Models Abstract entities Duhem Quine|
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References found in this work BETA
Pierre Maurice Marie Duhem (1954). The Aim and Structure of Physical Theory. Princeton, Princeton University Press.
Michael A. E. Dummett (1991). Frege: Philosophy of Mathematics. Harvard University Press.
Stacie Friend (2007). Fictional Characters. Philosophy Compass 2 (2):141–156.
Roman Frigg (2010). Models and Fiction. Synthese 172 (2):251 - 268.
Peter Godfrey-Smith (2006). The Strategy of Model-Based Science. Biology and Philosophy 21 (5):725-740.
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