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  1. Is Simulation a Substitute for Experimentation?Isabelle Peschard - manuscript
    It is sometimes said that simulation can serve as epistemic substitute for experimentation. Such a claim might be suggested by the fast-spreading use of computer simulation to investigate phenomena not accessible to experimentation (in astrophysics, ecology, economics, climatology, etc.). But what does that mean? The paper starts with a clarification of the terms of the issue and then focuses on two powerful arguments for the view that simulation and experimentation are ‘epistemically on a par’. One is based on the claim (...)
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  2. The Formalist Picture of Cognition. Towards a Total Demystification.Karlis Podnieks - manuscript
    This paper represents a philosophical experiment inspired by the formalist philosophy of mathematics. In the formalist picture of cognition, the principal act of knowledge generation is represented as tentative postulation – as introduction of a new knowledge construct followed by exploration of the consequences that can be derived from it. Depending on the result, the new construct may be accepted as normative, rejected, modified etc. Languages and means of reasoning are generated and selected in a similar process. In the formalist (...)
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  3. The Limits of Modeling.Karlis Podnieks - manuscript
    First, I propose a new argument in favor of the Dappled World perspective introduced by Nancy Cartwright. There are systems, for which detailed models can't exist in the natural world. And this has nothing to do with the limitations of human minds or technical resources. The limitation is built into the very principle of modeling: we are trying to replace some system by another one. In full detail, this may be impossible. Secondly, I'm trying to refine the Dappled World perspective (...)
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  4. Towards a General Definition of Modeling.Karlis Podnieks - manuscript
    What is a model? Surprisingly, in philosophical texts, this question is asked (sometimes), but almost never – answered. Instead of a general answer, usually, some classification of models is considered. The broadest possible definition of modeling could sound as follows: a model is anything that is (or could be) used, for some purpose, in place of something else. If the purpose is “answering questions”, then one has a cognitive model. Could such a broad definition be useful? Isn't it empty? Can (...)
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  5. Model Anarchism.Walter Veit - 2020
    This paper constitutes a radical departure from the existing philosophical literature on models, modeling-practices, and model-based science. I argue that the various entities and practices called 'models' and 'modeling-practices' are too diverse, too context-sensitive, and serve too many scientific purposes and roles, as to allow for a general philosophical analysis. From this recognition an alternative view emerges that I shall dub model anarchism.
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  6. Idealization and Structural Explanation in Physics.Martin King - 2014
  7. Symbols Versus Models.Chuang Liu - 2013
    In this paper I argue against a deflationist view that as representational vehicles symbols and models do their jobs in essentially the same way. I argue that symbols are conventional vehicles whose chief function is denotation while models are epistemic vehicles whose chief function is showing what their targets are like in the relevant aspects. It is further pointed out that models usually do not rely on similarity or some such relations to relate to their targets. For that referential relation (...)
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  8. Models for Modeling.Michael Weisberg - manuscript
    Contemporary literature in philosophy of science has begun to emphasize the practice of modeling, which differs in important respects from other forms of representation and analysis central to standard philosophical accounts. This literature has stressed the constructed nature of models, their autonomy, and the utility of their high degrees of idealization. What this new literature about modeling lacks, however, is a comprehensive account of the models that figure in to the practice of modeling. This paper offers a new account of (...)
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  9. Exploring Minds: Modes of Modelling and Simulation in Artificial Intelligence.Hajo Greif - forthcoming - Perspectives on Science.
    The aim of this paper is to grasp the relevant distinctions between various ways in which models and simulations in Artificial Intelligence (AI) relate to cognitive phenomena. In order to get a systematic picture, a taxonomy is developed that is based on the coordinates of formal versus material analogies and theory-guided versus pre-theoretic models in science. These distinctions have parallels in the computational versus mimetic aspects and in analytic versus exploratory types of computer simulation. This taxonomy cuts across the traditional (...)
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  10. Cognitive Pluralism.Steven Horst - forthcoming - MIT Press.
    This book introduces an account of cognitive architecture, Cognitive Pluralism, on which the basic units of understanding are models of particular content domains. Having many mental models is a good adaptive strategy for cognition, but models can be incompatible with one another, leading to paradoxes and inconsistencies of belief, and it may not be possible to integrate the understanding supplied by multiple models into a comprehensive and self-consistent "super model". The book applies the theory to explaining intuitive reasoning and cognitive (...)
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  11. Unifying the Essential Concepts of Biological Networks: Biological Insights and Philosophical Foundations.Daniel Kostic, Claus Hilgetag & Marc Tittgemeyer - forthcoming - Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.
    Over the last decades, network-based approaches have become highly popular in diverse fields of biology, including neuroscience, ecology, molecular biology and genetics. While these approaches continue to grow very rapidly, some of their conceptual and methodological aspects still require a programmatic foundation. This challenge particularly concerns the question of whether a generalized account of explanatory, organisational and descriptive levels of networks can be applied universally across biological sciences. To this end, this highly interdisciplinary theme issue focuses on the definition, motivation (...)
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  12. Concrete Scale Models, Essential Idealization, and Causal Explanation.Christopher Pincock - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:000-000.
    This paper defends three claims about concrete or physical models: these models remain important in science and engineering, they are often essentially idealized, in a sense to be made precise, and despite these essential idealizations, some of these models may be reliably used for the purpose of causal explanation. This discussion of concrete models is pursued using a detailed case study of some recent models of landslide generated impulse waves. Practitioners show a clear awareness of the idealized character of these (...)
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  13. The Exploratory Role of Idealizations and Limiting Cases in Models.Elay Shech & Axel Gelfert - forthcoming - Studia Metodologiczne.
    In this article we argue that idealizations and limiting cases in models play an exploratory role in science. Four senses of exploration are presented: exploration of the structure and representational capacities of theory; proof-of-principle demonstrations; potential explanations; and exploring the suitability of target systems. We illustrate our claims through three case studies, including the Aharonov-Bohm effect, the emergence of anyons and fractional quantum statistics, and the Hubbard model of the Mott phase transitions. We end by reflecting on how our case (...)
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  14. Modes, Media, and Formats of Scientific Representation.M. Vorms & T. Knuuttila - forthcoming - Erkenntnis: An International Journal of Analytic Philosophy.
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  15. Models and Modelling in the Sciences: A Philosophical Introduction.Stephen M. Downes - 2020 - Routledge.
    Biologists, climate scientists, and economists all rely on models to move their work forward. In this book, I explore the use of models in these and other fields to introduce readers to the various philosophical issues that arise in scientific modeling. I show that paying attention to models plays a crucial role in appraising scientific work. -/- After surveying a wide range of models from a number of different scientific disciplines, I demonstrate how focusing on models sheds light on many (...)
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  16. Philosophical Perspectives on Earth System Modeling: Truth, Adequacy and Understanding.G. Gramelsberger, J. Lenhard & Wendy Parker - 2020 - Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems 12 (1):e2019MS001720.
    We explore three questions about Earth system modeling that are of both scientific and philosophical interest: What kind of understanding can be gained via complex Earth system models? How can the limits of understanding be bypassed or managed? How should the task of evaluating Earth system models be conceptualized?
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  17. Getting Serious About Shared Features.Donal Khosrowi - 2020 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (2):523-546.
    In Simulation and Similarity, Michael Weisberg offers a similarity-based account of the model–world relation, which is the relation in virtue of which successful models are successful. Weisberg’s main idea is that models are similar to targets in virtue of sharing features. An important concern about Weisberg’s account is that it remains silent on what it means for models and targets to share features, and consequently on how feature-sharing contributes to models’ epistemic success. I consider three potential ways of concretizing the (...)
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  18. Laws, Models, and Theories in Biology: A Unifying Interpretation.Pablo Lorenzano - 2020 - In Lorenzo Baravalle & Luciana Zaterka (eds.), Life and Evolution, History, Philosophy and Theory of the Life Sciences. pp. 163-207.
    Three metascientific concepts that have been object of philosophical analysis are the concepts oflaw, model and theory. The aim ofthis article is to present the explication of these concepts, and of their relationships, made within the framework of Sneedean or Metatheoretical Structuralism (Balzer et al. 1987), and of their application to a case from the realm of biology: Population Dynamics. The analysis carried out will make it possible to support, contrary to what some philosophers of science in general and of (...)
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  19. Ecological-Enactive Scientific Cognition: Modeling and Material Engagement.Giovanni Rolla & Felipe Novaes - 2020 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 1:1-19.
    Ecological-enactive approaches to cognition aim to explain cognition in terms of the dynamic coupling between agent and environment. Accordingly, cognition of one’s immediate environment (which is sometimes labeled “basic” cognition) depends on enaction and the picking up of affordances. However, ecological-enactive views supposedly fail to account for what is sometimes called “higher” cognition, i.e., cognition about potentially absent targets, which therefore can only be explained by postulating representational content. This challenge levelled against ecological-enactive approaches highlights a putative explanatory gap between (...)
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  20. Integración de analogías en la investigación científica (Integration of Analogies in Scientific Modeling).Natalia Carrillo-Escalera - 2019 - Revista Colombiana de Filosofía de la Ciencia 37 (18):318-335.
    Discussion of modeling within philosophy of science has focused in how models, understood as finished products, represent the world. This approach has some issues accounting for the value of modeling in situations where there are controversies as to which should be the object of representation. In this work I show that a historical analysis of modeling complements the aforementioned representational program, since it allows us to examine processes of integration of analogies that play a role in the generation of criteria (...)
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  21. Models as Signs: Extending Kralemann and Lattman’s Proposal on Modeling Models Within Peirce’s Theory of Signs.Sergio Gallegos - 2019 - Synthese 196 (12):5115-5136.
    In recent decades, philosophers of science have devoted considerable efforts to understand what models represent. One popular position is that models represent fictional situations. Another position states that, though models often involve fictional elements, they represent real objects or scenarios. Though these two positions may seem to be incompatible, I believe it is possible to reconcile them. Using a threefold distinction between different signs proposed by Peirce, I develop an argument based on a proposal recently made by Kralemann and Lattman (...)
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  22. The Epistemic Virtue of Robustness in Climate Modeling (MA Dissertation).Parjanya Joshi - 2019 - Dissertation, Tata Institute of Social Sciences
    The aim of this dissertation is to comprehensively study various robustness arguments proposed in the literature from Levins to Lloyd as well as the opposition offered to them and pose enquiry into the degree of epistemic virtue that they provide to the model prediction results with respect to climate science and modeling. Another critical issue that this dissertation strives to examine is that of the actual epistemic notion that is operational when scientists and philosophers appeal to robustness. In attempting to (...)
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  23. La red teórica de la dinámica de poblaciones.Martín Díaz & Pablo Lorenzano - 2018 - Scientiae Studia 15 (2):307.
    The general aim of this article is to carry out a reconstruction of the theory of Population Dynamics (DP) in Ecology, according to Castle’s (2001) general stance with regard to the semantic view of theories, but doing it within the framework of metatheoretical structuralism. Thus, we will first identify Population Dynamics’ basic theory-element: its core K(DP) – with the class of potential models, the class of models (through the identification of its fundamental law) and the class of partial potential models (...)
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  24. Learning About Reality Through Models and Computer Simulations.Melissa Jacquart - 2018 - Science & Education 27 (7-8):805-810.
    Margaret Morrison, (2015) Reconstructing Reality: Models, Mathematics, and Simulations. Oxford University Press, New York. -/- Scientific models, mathematical equations, and computer simulations are indispensable to scientific practice. Through the use of models, scientists are able to effectively learn about how the world works, and to discover new information. However, there is a challenge in understanding how scientists can generate knowledge from their use, stemming from the fact that models and computer simulations are necessarily incomplete representations, and partial descriptions, of their (...)
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  25. Intuition and Awareness of Abstract Models: A Challenge for Realists.Dimitris Kilakos - 2018 - Philosophies 3 (1):3-0.
    It is plausible to think that, in order to actively employ models in their inquiries, scientists should be aware of their existence. The question is especially puzzling for realists in the case of abstract models, since it is not obvious how this is possible. Interestingly, though, this question has drawn little attention in the relevant literature. Perhaps the most obvious choice for a realist is appealing to intuition. In this paper, I argue that if scientific models were abstract entities, one (...)
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  26. The Topological Realization.Daniel Kostić - 2018 - Synthese (1).
    In this paper, I argue that the newly developed network approach in neuroscience and biology provides a basis for formulating a unique type of realization, which I call topological realization. Some of its features and its relation to one of the dominant paradigms of realization and explanation in sciences, i.e. the mechanistic one, are already being discussed in the literature. But the detailed features of topological realization, its explanatory power and its relation to another prominent view of realization, namely the (...)
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  27. Philosophy of Modeling: Neglected Pages of History.Karlis Podnieks - 2018 - Baltic Journal of Modern Computing 6 (3):279–303.
    The work done in the philosophy of modeling by Vaihinger (1876), Craik (1943), Rosenblueth and Wiener (1945), Apostel (1960), Minsky (1965), Klaus (1966) and Stachowiak (1973) is still almost completely neglected in the mainstream literature. However, this work seems to contain original ideas worth to be discussed. For example, the idea that diverse functions of models can be better structured as follows: in fact, models perform only a single function – they are replacing their target systems, but for different purposes. (...)
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  28. From Models to Simulations.Franck Varenne - 2018 - London, UK: Routledge.
    This book analyses the impact computerization has had on contemporary science and explains the origins, technical nature and epistemological consequences of the current decisive interplay between technology and science: an intertwining of formalism, computation, data acquisition, data and visualization and how these factors have led to the spread of simulation models since the 1950s. -/- Using historical, comparative and interpretative case studies from a range of disciplines, with a particular emphasis on the case of plant studies, the author shows how (...)
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  29. Semantics as Model-Based Science.Seth Yalcin - 2018 - In Derek Ball & Brian Rabern (eds.), The Science of Meaning: Essays on the Metatheory of Natural Language Semantics. Oxford University Press. pp. 334-360.
    This paper critiques a number of standard ways of understanding the role of the metalanguage in a semantic theory for natural language, including the idea that disquotation plays a nontrivial role in any explanatory natural language semantics. It then proposes that the best way to understand the role of a semantic metalanguage involves recognizing that semantics is a model-based science. The metalanguage of semantics is language for articulating features of the theorist's model. Models are understood as mediating instruments---idealized structures used (...)
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  30. The Savings Problem in the Original Position: Assessing and Revising a Model.Eric Brandstedt - 2017 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47 (2):269-289.
    The common conception of justice as reciprocity seemingly is inapplicable to relations between non-overlapping generations. This is a challenge also to John Rawls’s theory of justice as fairness. This text responds to this by way of reinterpreting and developing Rawls’s theory. First, by examining the original position as a model, some revisions of it are shown to be wanting. Second, by drawing on the methodology of constructivism, an alternative solution is proposed: an amendment to the primary goods named ‘sustainability of (...)
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  31. Modelling with Words: Narrative and Natural Selection.Dominic K. Dimech - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 62:20-24.
    I argue that verbal models should be included in a philosophical account of the scientific practice of modelling. Weisberg (2013) has directly opposed this thesis on the grounds that verbal structures, if they are used in science, only merely describe models. I look at examples from Darwin's On the Origin of Species (1859) of verbally constructed narratives that I claim model the general phenomenon of evolution by natural selection. In each of the cases I look at, a particular scenario is (...)
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  32. The Crucial Role of Models in Science: Natasha Myers: Rendering Life Molecular: Models, Modelers, and Excitable Matter. Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2015, 328pp, $94.95 Cloth, $26.95 PB.Sabina Leonelli - 2017 - Metascience 26 (1):99-101.
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  33. A Theory of Scientific Study.Robert Luk - 2017 - Foundations of Science 22 (1):11-38.
    This paper presents a theory of scientific study which is regarded as a social learning process of scientific knowledge creation, revision, application, monitoring and dissemination with the aim of securing good quality, general, objective, testable and complete scientific knowledge of the domain. The theory stipulates the aim of scientific study that forms the basis of its principles. It also makes seven assumptions about scientific study and defines the major participating entities. It extends a recent process model of scientific study into (...)
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  34. What Was the Syntax‐Semantics Debate in the Philosophy of Science About?Sebastian Lutz - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 95 (2):319-352.
    The debate between critics of syntactic and semantic approaches to the formalization of scientific theories has been going on for over 50 years. I structure the debate in light of a recent exchange between Hans Halvorson, Clark Glymour, and Bas van Fraassen and argue that the only remaining disagreement concerns the alleged difference in the dependence of syntactic and semantic approaches on languages of predicate logic. This difference turns out to be illusory.
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  35. Synthetic Biology and the Search for Alternative Genetic Systems: Taking How-Possibly Models Seriously.Koskinen Rami - 2017 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 7 (3):493-506.
    Many scientific models in biology are how-possibly models. These models depict things as they could be, but do not necessarily capture actual states of affairs in the biological world. In contemporary philosophy of science, it is customary to treat how-possibly models as second-rate theoretical tools. Although possibly important in the early stages of theorizing, they do not constitute the main aim of modelling, namely, to discover the actual mechanism responsible for the phenomenon under study. In the paper it is argued (...)
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  36. Essay Review: Models and Exploratory Models.Fiora Salis - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 63:58-61.
    Review essay of How to do science with models. A philosophical primer. Springer briefs in philosophy, Axel Gelfert., 129, Price € 49,99 softcover, ISBN: 978-3-319-27954-1.
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  37. Théories et modèles en sciences humaines. Le cas de la géographie.Franck Varenne - 2017 - Paris, France: Editions Matériologiques.
    Face à la diversité et à la complexification des modes de formalisation, une épistémologie des méthodes scientifiques doit confronter directement ses analyses à une pluralité d’études de cas comparatives. C’est l’objectif de cet ouvrage. -/- Aussi, dans une première partie, propose-t-il d’abord une classification large et raisonnée des différentes fonctions de connaissance des théories, des modèles et des simulations (de fait, cette partie constitue un panorama d’épistémologie générale particulièrement poussé). C’est ensuite à la lumière de cette classification que les deux (...)
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  38. Point-Particle Explanations: The Case of Gravitational Waves.Andrew Wayne - 2017 - Synthese:1-21.
    This paper explores the role of physically impossible idealizations in model-based explanation. We do this by examining the explanation of gravitational waves from distant stellar objects using models that contain point-particle idealizations. Like infinite idealizations in thermodynamics, biology and economics, the point-particle idealization in general relativity is physically impossible. What makes this case interesting is that there are two very different kinds of models used for predicting the same gravitational wave phenomena, post-Newtonian models and effective field theory models. The paper (...)
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  39. Meta-Theoretical Contributions to the Constitution of a Model-Based Didactics of Science.Yefrin Ariza, Pablo Lorenzano & Agustín Adúriz-Bravo - 2016 - Science & Education 25 (7-8):747-773.
    There is nowadays consensus in the community of didactics of science regarding the need to include the philosophy of science in didactical research, science teacher education, curriculum design, and the practice of science education in all educational levels. Some authors have identified an ever-increasing use of the concept of ‘theoretical model’, stemming from the so-called semantic view of scientific theories. However, it can be recognised that, in didactics of science, there are over-simplified transpositions of the idea of model. In this (...)
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  40. Prefacio.Daniel Blanco, Santiago Ginnobili & Pablo Lorenzano - 2016 - Metatheoria – Revista de Filosofía E Historia de la Ciencia 6:1--2.
  41. Successful Visual Epistemic Representation.Agnes Bolinska - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 56:153-160.
    In this paper, I characterize visual epistemic representations as concrete two- or three-dimensional tools for conveying information about aspects of their target systems or phenomena of interest. I outline two features of successful visual epistemic representation: that the vehicle of representation contain sufficiently accurate information about the phenomenon of interest for the user’s purpose, and that it convey this information to the user in a manner that makes it readily available to her. I argue that actual epistemic representation may involve (...)
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  42. Scientific Representation.Roman Frigg & James Nguyen - 2016 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Science provides us with representations of atoms, elementary particles, polymers, populations, genetic trees, economies, rational decisions, aeroplanes, earthquakes, forest fires, irrigation systems, and the world’s climate. It's through these representations that we learn about the world. This entry explores various different accounts of scientific representation, with a particular focus on how scientific models represent their target systems. As philosophers of science are increasingly acknowledging the importance, if not the primacy, of scientific models as representational units of science, it's important to (...)
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  43. The Fiction View of Models Reloaded.Roman Frigg & James Nguyen - 2016 - The Monist 99 (3):225-242.
    In this paper we explore the constraints that our preferred account of scientific representation places on the ontology of scientific models. Pace the Direct Representation view associated with Arnon Levy and Adam Toon we argue that scientific models should be thought of as imagined systems, and clarify the relationship between imagination and representation.
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  44. Why We Cannot Learn From Minimal Models.Roberto Fumagalli - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (3):433-455.
    Philosophers of science have developed several accounts of how consideration of scientific models can prompt learning about real-world targets. In recent years, various authors advocated the thesis that consideration of so-called minimal models can prompt learning about such targets. In this paper, I draw on the philosophical literature on scientific modelling and on widely cited illustrations from economics and biology to argue that this thesis fails to withstand scrutiny. More specifically, I criticize leading proponents of such thesis for failing to (...)
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  45. How to Do Science with Models. A Philosophical Primer.Axel Gelfert - 2016 - Springer.
    Taking scientific practice as its starting point, this book charts the complex territory of models used in science. It examines what scientific models are and what their function is. Reliance on models is pervasive in science, and scientists often need to construct models in order to explain or predict anything of interest at all. The diversity of kinds of models one finds in science – ranging from toy models and scale models to theoretical and mathematical models – has attracted attention (...)
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  46. Modeling and Inferring in Science.Emiliano Ippoliti, Thomas Nickles & Fabio Sterpetti - 2016 - In Emiliano Ippoliti, Fabio Sterpetti & Thomas Nickles (eds.), Models and Inferences in Science. Springer. pp. 1-9.
    Science continually contributes new models and rethinks old ones. The way inferences are made is constantly being re-evaluated. The practice and achievements of science are both shaped by this process, so it is important to understand how models and inferences are made. But, despite the relevance of models and inference in scientific practice, these concepts still remain contro-versial in many respects. The attempt to understand the ways models and infer-ences are made basically opens two roads. The first one is to (...)
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  47. Models and Inferences in Science.Emiliano Ippoliti, Fabio Sterpetti & Thomas Nickles (eds.) - 2016 - Springer.
    The book answers long-standing questions on scientific modeling and inference across multiple perspectives and disciplines, including logic, mathematics, physics and medicine. The different chapters cover a variety of issues, such as the role models play in scientific practice; the way science shapes our concept of models; ways of modeling the pursuit of scientific knowledge; the relationship between our concept of models and our concept of science. The book also discusses models and scientific explanations; models in the semantic view of theories; (...)
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  48. Model-Based Theorizing in Cognitive Neuroscience.Elizabeth Irvine - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (1):143-168.
    Weisberg and Godfrey-Smith distinguish between two forms of theorising: data-driven ‘abstract direct representation’ and modeling. The key difference is that when using a data-driven approach, theories are intended to represent specific phenomena, so directly represent them, while models may not be intended to represent anything, so represent targets indirectly, if at all. The aim here is to compare and analyse these practices, in order to outline an account of model-based theorising that involves direct representational relationships. This is based on the (...)
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  49. Similarity, Adequacy, and Purpose: Understanding the Success of Scientific Models.Melissa Jacquart - 2016 - Dissertation, University of Western Ontario
    A central component to scientific practice is the construction and use of scientific models. Scientists believe that the success of a model justifies making claims that go beyond the model itself. However, philosophical analysis of models suggests that drawing inferences about the world from successful models is more complex. In this dissertation I develop a framework that can help disentangle the related strands of evaluation of model success, model extendibility, and the ability to draw ampliative inferences about the world from (...)
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  50. On the Limits of Causal Modeling: Spatially-Structurally Complex Biological Phenomena.Marie I. Kaiser - 2016 - Philosophy of Science 83 (5):921-933.
    This paper examines the adequacy of causal graph theory as a tool for modeling biological phenomena and formalizing biological explanations. I point out that the causal graph approach reaches it limits when it comes to modeling biological phenomena that involve complex spatial and structural relations. Using a case study from molecular biology, DNA-binding and -recognition of proteins, I argue that causal graph models fail to adequately represent and explain causal phenomena in this field. The inadequacy of these models is due (...)
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