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  1. What can bouncing oil droplets tell us about quantum mechanics?Peter W. Evans & Karim P. Y. Thébault - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10 (3):1-32.
    A recent series of experiments have demonstrated that a classical fluid mechanical system, constituted by an oil droplet bouncing on a vibrating fluid surface, can be induced to display a number of behaviours previously considered to be distinctly quantum. To explain this correspondence it has been suggested that the fluid mechanical system provides a single-particle classical model of de Broglie’s idiosyncratic ‘double solution’ pilot wave theory of quantum mechanics. In this paper we assess the epistemic function of the bouncing oil (...)
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  • The Kac Ring or the Art of Making Idealisations.Julie Jebeile - 2020 - Foundations of Physics 50 (10):1152-1170.
    In 1959, mathematician Mark Kac introduced a model, called the Kac ring, in order to elucidate the classical solution of Boltzmann to the problem of macroscopic irreversibility. However, the model is far from being a realistic representation of something. How can it be of any help here? In philosophy of science, it is often argued that models can provide explanations of the phenomenon they are said to approximate, in virtue of the truth they contain, and in spite of the idealisations (...)
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  • Formal Semantics and Applied Mathematics: An Inferential Account.Ryan M. Nefdt - 2020 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 29 (2):221-253.
    In this paper, I utilise the growing literature on scientific modelling to investigate the nature of formal semantics from the perspective of the philosophy of science. Specifically, I incorporate the inferential framework proposed by Bueno and Colyvan : 345–374, 2011) in the philosophy of applied mathematics to offer an account of how formal semantics explains and models its data. This view produces a picture of formal semantic models as involving an embedded process of inference and representation applying indirectly to linguistic (...)
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  • Scientific Fictions as Rules of Inference.Mauricio Suárez - 2009 - In Fictions in Science: Philosophical Essays on Modeling and Idealization. Routledge. pp. 158--178.
  • Modelos falsos en la ciencia: un valioso recurso para la comprensión de los fenómenos.Antonio Diéguez - 2017 - Metatheoria – Revista de Filosofía E Historia de la Ciencia 8:95--105.
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  • The role of disciplinary perspectives in an epistemology of scientific models.Mieke Boon - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10 (3):1-34.
    The purpose of this article is to develop an epistemology of scientific models in scientific research practices, and to show that disciplinary perspectives have crucial role in such an epistemology. A transcendental approach is taken, aimed at explanations of the kinds of questions relevant to the intended epistemology, such as “How is it possible that models provide knowledge about aspects of reality?” The approach is also pragmatic in the sense that the questions and explanations must be adequate and relevant to (...)
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  • Models in Economics Are Not Nomological Machines.Cyril Hédoin - 2014 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 44 (4):424-459.
    This paper evaluates Nancy Cartwright’s critique of economic models. Cartwright argues that economics fails to build relevant “nomological machines” able to isolate capacities. In this paper, I contend that many economic models are not used as nomological machines. I give some evidence for this claim and build on an inferential and pragmatic approach to economic modeling. Modeling in economics responds to peculiar inferential norms where a “good” model is essentially a model that enhances our knowledge about possible worlds. As a (...)
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  • The Turn of the Valve: Representing with Material Models.Roman Frigg & James Nguyen - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 8 (2):205-224.
    Many scientific models are representations. Building on Goodman and Elgin’s notion of representation-as we analyse what this claim involves by providing a general definition of what makes something a scientific model, and formulating a novel account of how they represent. We call the result the DEKI account of representation, which offers a complex kind of representation involving an interplay of, denotation, exemplification, keying up of properties, and imputation. Throughout we focus on material models, and we illustrate our claims with the (...)
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  • Scientific Representation: Against Similarity and Isomorphism.Mauricio Suárez - 2003 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 17 (3):225-244.
    I argue against theories that attempt to reduce scientific representation to similarity or isomorphism. These reductive theories aim to radically naturalize the notion of representation, since they treat scientist's purposes and intentions as non-essential to representation. I distinguish between the means and the constituents of representation, and I argue that similarity and isomorphism are common but not universal means of representation. I then present four other arguments to show that similarity and isomorphism are not the constituents of scientific representation. I (...)
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  • Scientific Phenomena and Patterns in Data.Pascal Ströing - 2018 - Dissertation, LMU München
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  • Science, Institutions, and Values.C. Mantzavinos - forthcoming - European Journal of Philosophy.
    This paper articulates and defends three interconnected claims: first, that the debate on the role of values for science misses a crucial dimension, the institutional one; second, that institutions occupy the intermediate level between scientific activities and values and that they are to be systematically integrated into the analysis; third, that the appraisal of the institutions of science with respect to values should be undertaken within the premises of a comparative approach rather than an ideal approach. Hence, I defend the (...)
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  • Models of’ Versus ‘Models For.Julia Gouvea & Cynthia Passmore - 2017 - Science & Education 26 (1-2):49-63.
    The inclusion of the practice of “developing and using models” in the Framework for K-12 Science Education and in the Next Generation Science Standards provides an opportunity for educators to examine the role this practice plays in science and how it can be leveraged in a science classroom. Drawing on conceptions of models in the philosophy of science, we bring forward an agent-based account of models and discuss the implications of this view for enacting modeling in science classrooms. Models, according (...)
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  • Scientific Misrepresentation and Guides to Ontology: The Need for Representational Code and Contents.Elay Shech - 2015 - Synthese 192 (11):3463-3485.
    In this paper I show how certain requirements must be set on any tenable account of scientific representation, such as the requirement allowing for misrepresentation. I then continue to argue that two leading accounts of scientific representation— the inferential account and the interpretational account—are flawed for they do not satisfy such requirements. Through such criticism, and drawing on an analogy from non-scientific representation, I also sketch the outline of a superior account. In particular, I propose to take epistemic representations to (...)
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  • Perspectival Realism and Norms of Scientific Representation.Quentin Ruyant - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10 (2):1-17.
    Perspectival realism combines two apparently contradictory aspects: the epistemic relativity of perspectives and the mind-independence of realism. This paper examines the prospects for a coherent perspectival realism, taking the literature on scientific representation as a starting point. It is argued that representation involves two types of norms, referred to as norms of relevance and norms of accuracy. Norms of relevance fix the domain of application of a theory and the way it categorises the world, and norms of accuracy give the (...)
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  • Iconic Representations and Representative Practices.Chiara Ambrosio - 2014 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 28 (3):255-275.
    I develop an account of scientific representations building on Charles S. Peirce's rich, and still underexplored, notion of iconicity. Iconic representations occupy a central place in Peirce's philosophy, in his innovative approach to logic and in his practice as a scientist. Starting from a discussion of Peirce's approach to diagrams, I claim that Peirce's own representations are in line with his formulation of iconicity, and that they are more broadly connected to the pragmatist philosophy he developed in parallel with his (...)
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  • It’s Not a Game: Accurate Representation with Toy Models.James Nguyen - 2020 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (3):1013-1041.
    Drawing on ‘interpretational’ accounts of scientific representation, I argue that the use of so-called ‘toy models’ provides no particular philosophical puzzle. More specifically; I argue that once one gives up the idea that models are accurate representations of their targets only if they are appropriately similar, then simple and highly idealized models can be accurate in the same way that more complex models can be. Their differences turn on trading precision for generality, but, if they are appropriately interpreted, toy models (...)
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  • Models and Representation.Roman Frigg & James Nguyen - 2017 - In Lorenzo Magnani & Tommaso Bertolotti (eds.), Springer Handbook of Model-Based Science. pp. 49-102.
    Scientific discourse is rife with passages that appear to be ordinary descriptions of systems of interest in a particular discipline. Equally, the pages of textbooks and journals are filled with discussions of the properties and the behavior of those systems. Students of mechanics investigate at length the dynamical properties of a system consisting of two or three spinning spheres with homogenous mass distributions gravitationally interacting only with each other. Population biologists study the evolution of one species procreating at a constant (...)
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  • Scientific Realism, the Galilean Strategy, and Representation.Mauricio Suárez - 2009 - Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities 101 (1):269-292.
    This paper critically reviews Philip Kitcher's most recent epistemology of science, real realism . I argue that this view is unstable under different understandings of the term 'representation', and that the arguments offered for the position are either unsound or invalid depending on the understanding employed. Suitably modified those arguments are however convincing in favor of a deflationary version of real realism, which I refer to as the bare view . The bare view accepts Kitcher's Galilean strategy, and the ensuing (...)
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  • Can Theories of Mental Representation Adequately Explain Mental Imagery?Jelena Issajeva - 2020 - Foundations of Science 25 (2):341-355.
    Traditionally it is taken for granted that mental imagery is a mental representation of some kind or format. This yields that theory of MR can give an adequate and exhaustive explanation of MI. Such co-relation between the two is usually seen as unproblematic. But is it really so? This article aims at challenging the theoretical claim that the dominant ‘two-world’ account of MR can adequately explain MI. Contrary to the standard theory of MR, there are reasons to believe that: MI (...)
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  • Finding Truth in Fictions: Identifying Non-Fictions in Imaginary Cracks.Gordon Michael Purves - 2013 - Synthese 190 (2):235-251.
    I critically examine some recent work on the philosophy of scientific fictions, focusing on the work of Winsberg. By considering two case studies in fracture mechanics, the strip yield model and the imaginary crack method, I argue that his reliance upon the social norms associated with an element of a model forces him to remain silent whenever those norms fail to clearly match the characteristic of fictions or non-fictions. In its place, I propose a normative epistemology of fictions which clarifies (...)
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  • Science in a New Mode: Good Old (Theoretical) Science Versus Brave New (Commodified) Knowledge Production?Tarja Knuuttila - 2013 - Science & Education 22 (10):2443-2461.
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  • Are We Sims? How Computer Simulations Represent and What This Means for the Simulation Argument.Claus Beisbart - 2014 - The Monist 97 (3):399-417.
    N. Bostrom’s simulation argument and two additional assumptions imply that we likely live in a computer simulation. The argument is based upon the following assumption about the workings of realistic brain simulations: The hardware of a computer on which a brain simulation is run bears a close analogy to the brain itself. To inquire whether this is so, I analyze how computer simulations trace processes in their targets. I describe simulations as fictional, mathematical, pictorial, and material models. Even though the (...)
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  • Are Computer Simulations Experiments? And If Not, How Are They Related to Each Other?Claus Beisbart - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 8 (2):171-204.
    Computer simulations and experiments share many important features. One way of explaining the similarities is to say that computer simulations just are experiments. This claim is quite popular in the literature. The aim of this paper is to argue against the claim and to develop an alternative explanation of why computer simulations resemble experiments. To this purpose, experiment is characterized in terms of an intervention on a system and of the observation of the reaction. Thus, if computer simulations are experiments, (...)
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  • How Can Computer Simulations Produce New Knowledge?Claus Beisbart - 2012 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 2 (3):395-434.
    It is often claimed that scientists can obtain new knowledge about nature by running computer simulations. How is this possible? I answer this question by arguing that computer simulations are arguments. This view parallels Norton’s argument view about thought experiments. I show that computer simulations can be reconstructed as arguments that fully capture the epistemic power of the simulations. Assuming the extended mind hypothesis, I furthermore argue that running the computer simulation is to execute the reconstructing argument. I discuss some (...)
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  • Virtual Realism: Really Realism or Only Virtually So? A Comment on D. J. Chalmers’s Petrus Hispanus Lectures.Claus Beisbart - 2019 - Disputatio 11 (55):297-331.
    What is the status of a cat in a virtual reality environment? Is it a real object? Or part of a fiction? Virtual realism, as defended by D. J. Chalmers, takes it to be a virtual object that really exists, that has properties and is involved in real events. His preferred specification of virtual realism identifies the cat with a digital object. The project of this paper is to use a comparison between virtual reality environments and scientific computer simulations to (...)
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  • Explicaciones Geométrico-Diagramáticas en Física desde una Perspectiva Inferencial.Javier Anta - 2019 - Revista Colombiana de Filosofía de la Ciencia 38 (19).
    El primer objetivo de este artículo es mostrar que explicaciones genuinamente geométricas/matemáticas e intrínsecamente diagramáticas de fenómenos físicos no solo son posibles en la práctica científica, sino que además comportan un potencial epistémico que sus contrapartes simbólico-verbales carecen. Como ejemplo representativo utilizaremos la metodología geométrica de John Wheeler (1963) para calcular cantidades físicas en una reacción nuclear. Como segundo objetivo pretendemos analizar, desde un marco inferencial, la garantía epistémica de este tipo de explicaciones en términos de dependencia sintáctica y semántica (...)
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  • How to Characterise Pure and Applied Science.Aboutorab Yaghmaie - 2017 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 31 (2):133-149.
    Regarding the dichotomy between applied science and pure science, there are two apparently paradoxical facts. First, they are distinguishable. Second, the outcomes of pure sciences (e.g. scientific theories and models) are applicable to producing the outcomes of applied sciences (e.g. technological artefacts) and vice versa. Addressing the functional roles of applied and pure science, i.e. to produce design representation and science representation, respectively, I propose a new characterisation of the dichotomy that explains these two facts.
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  • How Do Models Give Us Knowledge? The Case of Carnot’s Ideal Heat Engine.Tarja Knuuttila & Mieke Boon - 2011 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 1 (3):309-334.
    Our concern is in explaining how and why models give us useful knowledge. We argue that if we are to understand how models function in the actual scientific practice the representational approach to models proves either misleading or too minimal. We propose turning from the representational approach to the artefactual, which implies also a new unit of analysis: the activity of modelling. Modelling, we suggest, could be approached as a specific practice in which concrete artefacts, i.e., models, are constructed with (...)
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  • Making Sense of Modeling: Beyond Representation. [REVIEW]Isabelle Peschard - 2011 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 1 (3):335-352.
    Making sense of modeling: beyond representation Content Type Journal Article Category Original paper in Philosophy of Science Pages 335-352 DOI 10.1007/s13194-011-0032-8 Authors Isabelle Peschard, Philosophy Department, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Ave, San Francisco, CA 94132, USA Journal European Journal for Philosophy of Science Online ISSN 1879-4920 Print ISSN 1879-4912 Journal Volume Volume 1 Journal Issue Volume 1, Number 3.
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  • Hypothetical, Not Fictional Worlds.Friedel Weinert - 2016 - Kairos 17 (1):110-136.
    This paper critically analyzes the fiction-view of scientific modeling, which exploits presumed analogies between literary fiction and model building in science. The basic idea is that in both fiction and scientific modeling fictional worlds are created. The paper argues that the fiction-view comes closest to certain scientific thought experiments, especially those involving demons in science and to literary movements like naturalism. But the paper concludes that the dissimilarities prevail over the similarities. The fiction-view fails to do justice to the plurality (...)
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  • Formats of Representation in Scientific Theorizing.Marion Vorms - 2009 - In Paul Humphreys & Cyrille Imbert (eds.), Models, Simulations, and Representations. Routledge.
    This paper is intended to sketch the definition of a methodological tool -- the notion of a format of representation -- for the study of scientific theorising. One of its main assumption is that a philosophical study of theorising needs to pay attention to other types of units of analysis than the traditional ones, namely, theories and models approached in a logical and structural way, since scientific reasoning is always led on concrete representational devices and depends upon their specific properties. (...)
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  • On Rationales for Cognitive Values in the Assessment of Scientific Representations.Gertrude Hirsch Hadorn - 2018 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 49 (3):319-331.
    Cognitive values like simplicity, broad scope, and easy handling are properties of a scientific representation that result from the idealization which is involved in the construction of a representation. These properties may facilitate the application of epistemic values to credibility assessments, which provides a rationale for assigning an auxiliary function to cognitive values. In this paper, I defend a further rationale for cognitive values which consists in the assessment of the usefulness of a representation. Usefulness includes the relevance of a (...)
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  • Scientific Understanding and Felicitous Legitimate Falsehoods.Insa Lawler - forthcoming - Synthese:1-29.
    Science is replete with falsehoods that epistemically facilitate understanding by virtue of being the very falsehoods they are. In view of this puzzling fact, some have relaxed the truth requirement on understanding. I offer a factive view of understanding that fully accommodates the puzzling fact in four steps: (i) I argue that the question how these falsehoods are related to the phenomenon to be understood and the question how they figure into the content of understanding it are independent. (ii) I (...)
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  • The Model (Also) in the World: Extending the Sociological Theory of Fields to Economic Models.Nicolas Brisset & Dorian Jullien - 2019 - Journal of Economic Methodology 27 (2):130-145.
    ABSTRACTThe goal of this paper is to provide a methodological perspective on economic models that accounts for some sociological dimensions of economics, in two senses. Firstly, we are interested i...
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  • What Distinguishes Data From Models?Sabina Leonelli - 2019 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 9 (2):22.
    I propose a framework that explicates and distinguishes the epistemic roles of data and models within empirical inquiry through consideration of their use in scientific practice. After arguing that Suppes’ characterization of data models falls short in this respect, I discuss a case of data processing within exploratory research in plant phenotyping and use it to highlight the difference between practices aimed to make data usable as evidence and practices aimed to use data to represent a specific phenomenon. I then (...)
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  • What Distinguishes Data From Models?Sabina Leonelli - 2019 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 9 (2):22.
    I propose a framework that explicates and distinguishes the epistemic roles of data and models within empirical inquiry through consideration of their use in scientific practice. After arguing that Suppes’ characterization of data models falls short in this respect, I discuss a case of data processing within exploratory research in plant phenotyping and use it to highlight the difference between practices aimed to make data usable as evidence and practices aimed to use data to represent a specific phenomenon. I then (...)
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  • Open Biomedical Pluralism - Formalising Knowledge About Breast Cancer Phenotypes.Aleksandra Sojic & Oliver Kutz - 2012 - Journal of Biomedical Sematics 3 (2):S3.
    We demonstrate a heterogeneity of representation types for breast cancer phenotypes and stress that the characterisation of a tumour phenotype often includes parameters that go beyond the representation of a corresponding empirically observed tumour, thus reflecting significant functional features of the phenotypes as well as epistemic interests that drive the modes of representation. Accordingly, the represented features of cancer phenotypes function as epistemic vehicles aiding various classifications, explanations, and predictions. In order to clarify how the plurality of epistemic motivations can (...)
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  • An Inferential Account of Model Explanation.Wei Fang - 2019 - Philosophia 47 (1):99-116.
    This essay develops an inferential account of model explanation, based on Mauricio Suárez’s inferential conception of scientific representation and Alisa Bokulich’s counterfactual account of model explanation. It is suggested that the fact that a scientific model can explain is essentially linked to how a modeler uses an established model to make various inferences about the target system on the basis of results derived from the model. The inference practice is understood as a two-step activity, with the first step involving making (...)
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  • Scientific Models.Stephen M. Downes - 2011 - Philosophy Compass 6 (11):757-764.
    This contribution provides an assessment of the epistemological role of scientific models. The prevalent view that all scientific models are representations of the world is rejected. This view points to a unified way of resolving epistemic issues for scientific models. The emerging consensus in philosophy of science that models have many different epistemic roles in science is presented and defended.
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  • Scientific Representation.Mauricio Suárez - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (1):91-101.
    Scientific representation is a currently booming topic, both in analytical philosophy and in history and philosophy of science. The analytical inquiry attempts to come to terms with the relation between theory and world; while historians and philosophers of science aim to develop an account of the practice of model building in the sciences. This article provides a review of recent work within both traditions, and ultimately argues for a practice-based account of the means employed by scientists to effectively achieve representation (...)
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  • Current Perspectives in Philosophy of Biology.Joaquin Suarez Ruiz & Rodrigo A. Lopez Orellana - 2019 - Humanities Journal of Valparaiso 14:7-426.
    Current Perspectives in Philosophy of Biology.
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  • An inferential and dynamic approach to modeling and understanding in biology.Rodrigo Lopez-Orellana, Juan Redmond & David Cortés-García - 2019 - Humanities Journal of Valparaiso 14:315-334.
    This paper aims to propose an inferential and dynamic approach to understanding with models in biology. Understanding plays a central role in the practice of modeling. From its links with the other two central elements of scientific research, experimentation, and explanation, we show its epistemic relevance to the case of explanation in biology. Furthermore, by including the notion of understanding, we propose a non-referentialist perspective on scientific models, which is determined by their use.
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  • Toward the Applicability of Statistics: A Representational View.Mahdi Ashoori & S. Mahmoud Taheri - 2019 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 23 (1):113-129.
    The problem of understanding how statistical inference is, and can be, applied in empirical sciences is important for the methodology of science. It is the objective of this paper to gain a better understanding of the role of statistical methods in scientific modeling. The important question of whether the applicability reduces to the representational properties of statistical models is discussed. It will be shown that while the answer to this question is positive, representation in statistical models is not purely structural. (...)
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  • On Representational Capacities, with an Application to General Relativity.Samuel C. Fletcher - 2020 - Foundations of Physics 50 (4):228-249.
    Recent work on the hole argument in general relativity by Weatherall has drawn attention to the neglected concept of models’ representational capacities. I argue for several theses about the structure of these capacities, including that they should be understood not as many-to-one relations from models to the world, but in general as many-to-many relations constrained by the models’ isomorphisms. I then compare these ideas with a recent argument by Belot for the claim that some isometries “generate new possibilities” in general (...)
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  • Quaderns de Filosofia VI, 1.Quad Fia - 2019 - Quaderns de Filosofia 6 (1).
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  • Inferentialism.Florian Steinberger & Julien Murzi - 2017 - In Blackwell Companion to Philosophy of Language. Wiley Blackwell. pp. 197-224.
    This article offers an overview of inferential role semantics. We aim to provide a map of the terrain as well as challenging some of the inferentialist’s standard commitments. We begin by introducing inferentialism and placing it into the wider context of contemporary philosophy of language. §2 focuses on what is standardly considered both the most important test case for and the most natural application of inferential role semantics: the case of the logical constants. We discuss some of the (alleged) benefits (...)
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  • Is Captain Kirk a Natural Blonde? Do X-Ray Crystallographers Dream of Electron Clouds? Comparing Model-Based Inferences in Science with Fiction.Ann-Sophie Barwich - 2018 - In Otávio Bueno, George Darby, Steven French & Dean Rickles (eds.), Thinking About Science, Reflecting on Art: Bringing Aesthetics and Philosophy of Science Together. London, UK:
    Scientific models share one central characteristic with fiction: their relation to the physical world is ambiguous. It is often unclear whether an element in a model represents something in the world or presents an artifact of model building. Fiction, too, can resemble our world to varying degrees. However, we assign a different epistemic function to scientific representations. As artifacts of human activity, how are scientific representations allowing us to make inferences about real phenomena? In reply to this concern, philosophers of (...)
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  • Scientific Representation, Interpretation, and Surrogative Reasoning.Gabriele Contessa - 2007 - Philosophy of Science 74 (1):48-68.
    In this paper, I develop Mauricio Suárez’s distinction between denotation, epistemic representation, and faithful epistemic representation. I then outline an interpretational account of epistemic representation, according to which a vehicle represents a target for a certain user if and only if the user adopts an interpretation of the vehicle in terms of the target, which would allow them to perform valid (but not necessarily sound) surrogative inferences from the model to the system. The main difference between the interpretational conception I (...)
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  • Normativity of Scientific Laws : Two Kinds of Normativity.Ave Mets - 2018 - Problemos 93.
    [full article, abstract in English; only abstract in Lithuanian] This article presents the results of a broader research project which aims to argue for the normativity of scientific laws. Usually scientific laws are regarded as descriptive, which contrasts them to prescriptive norms. To show their normativity, I utilize the logical account of explicitly normative systems by Carlos Alchourrón and Eugenio Bulygin. I identify the characteristic elements of normativity and analyse accounts of implicit normativity in science using those terms to show (...)
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  • The New Fiction View of Models.Fiora Salis - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axz015.
    How do models represent reality? There are two conditions that scientific models must satisfy to be representations of real systems, the aboutness condition and the epistemic condition. In this article, I critically assess the two main fictionalist theories of models as representations, the indirect fiction view and the direct fiction view, with respect to these conditions. And I develop a novel proposal, what I call ‘the new fiction view of models’. On this view, models are akin to fictional stories; they (...)
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