David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 58 (2):207 - 233 (2007)
Many standard philosophical accounts of scientific practice fail to distinguish between modeling and other types of theory construction. This failure is unfortunate because there are important contrasts among the goals, procedures, and representations employed by modelers and other kinds of theorists. We can see some of these differences intuitively when we reflect on the methods of theorists such as Vito Volterra and Linus Pauling on the one hand, and Charles Darwin and Dimitri Mendeleev on the other. Much of Volterra's and Pauling's work involved modeling; much of Darwin's and Mendeleev's did not. In order to capture this distinction, I consider two examples of theory construction in detail: Volterra's treatment of post-WWI fishery dynamics and Mendeleev's construction of the periodic system. I argue that modeling can be distinguished from other forms of theorizing by the procedures modelers use to represent and to study real-world phenomena: indirect representation and analysis. This differentiation between modelers and non-modelers is one component of the larger project of understanding the practice of modeling, its distinctive features, and the strategies of abstraction and idealization it employs.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
Peter Godfrey-Smith (2006). The Strategy of Model-Based Science. Biology and Philosophy 21 (5):725-740.
Roman Frigg (2010). Models and Fiction. Synthese 172 (2):251 - 268.
Tarja Knuuttila (2011). Modelling and Representing: An Artefactual Approach to Model-Based Representation. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 42 (2):262-271.
John Matthewson & Michael Weisberg (2009). The Structure of Tradeoffs in Model Building. Synthese 170 (1):169 - 190.
Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther (2012). Interweaving Categories: Styles, Paradigms, and Models. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 43 (4):628-639.
Similar books and articles
Nancy J. Nersessian (2005). Abstraction Via Generic Modeling in Concept Formation in Science. Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities 86 (1):117-144.
James Justus (2006). Loop Analysis and Qualitative Modeling: Limitations and Merits. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 21 (5):647-666.
Robert W. Batterman (2009). Idealization and Modeling. Synthese 169 (3):427 - 446.
Peter Taylor (2000). Socio-Ecological Webs and Sites of Sociality:Levins' Strategy of Model Building Revisited. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 15 (2):197-210.
Bryan G. Norton (2008). Beyond Positivist Ecology: Toward an Integrated Ecological Ethics. Science and Engineering Ethics 14 (4):581-592.
Guillaume Aucher (2010). An Internal Version of Epistemic Logic. Studia Logica 94 (1):1 - 22.
Michael Weisberg & Kenneth Reisman (2008). The Robust Volterra Principle. Philosophy of Science 75 (1):106-131.
Steven L. Peck (2008). The Hermeneutics of Ecological Simulation. Biology and Philosophy 23 (3):383-402.
Bradley C. Love (2001). Three Deadly Sins of Category Learning Modelers. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (4):687-688.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads95 ( #27,856 of 1,724,890 )
Recent downloads (6 months)15 ( #48,573 of 1,724,890 )
How can I increase my downloads?