Learning from the existence of models: On psychic machines, tortoises, and computer simulations

Synthese 169 (3):521 - 538 (2009)
Abstract
Using four examples of models and computer simulations from the history of psychology, I discuss some of the methodological aspects involved in their construction and use, and I illustrate how the existence of a model can demonstrate the viability of a hypothesis that had previously been deemed impossible on a priori grounds. This shows a new way in which scientists can learn from models that extends the analysis of Morgan (1999), who has identified the construction and manipulation of models as those phases in which learning from models takes place.
Keywords Cognitive psychology  Computer simulations  Learning  Models  History of psychology  Scientific practice  Clark L. Hull  William Grey Walter Methodology
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Julian Reiss (2012). The Explanation Paradox. Journal of Economic Methodology 19 (1):43-62.
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