David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
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|
|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
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.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Ronald N. Giere (1994). The Cognitive Structure of Scientific Theories. Philosophy of Science 61 (2):276-296.
Mohamed Elsamahi (1994). Could Theoretical Entities Save Realism? In David & Richard Hull & Burian (ed.), PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association. 173 - 180.
Stathis Psillos (2005). Scientific Realism and Metaphysics. Ratio 18 (4):385–404.
Robert I. Damper (2001). Programs, Models, Theories, and Reality. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (6):1055-1056.
Henk W. Regt (2005). Scientific Realism in Action: Molecular Models and Boltzmann's Bildtheorie. Erkenntnis 63 (2):205 - 230.
Susan Vineberg (1996). Confirmation and the Indispensability of Mathematics to Science. Philosophy of Science 63 (3):263.
Hans Halvorson (2012). What Scientific Theories Could Not Be. Philosophy of Science 79 (2):183-206.
Władysław Krajewski (1992). Questions of the Objects of Knowledge and Types of Realism. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 6 (3):205-213.
Added to index2009-05-18
Total downloads152 ( #4,781 of 1,099,035 )
Recent downloads (6 months)14 ( #11,832 of 1,099,035 )
How can I increase my downloads?