Philosophy of Science 79 (5):725-737 (2012)

Authors
Alisa Bokulich
Boston University
Abstract
There is a growing recognition that fictions have a number of legitimate functions in science, even when it comes to scientific explanation. However, the question then arises, what distinguishes an explanatory fiction from a nonexplanatory one? Here I examine two cases—one in which there is a consensus in the scientific community that the fiction is explanatory and another in which the fiction is not explanatory. I shall show how my account of “model explanations” is able to explain this asymmetry, and argue that realism—of a more subtle form—does have a role in distinguishing explanatory from non- explanatory fictions.
Keywords models  explanation
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1086/667991
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,464
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Explanatory Unification.Philip Kitcher - 1981 - Philosophy of Science 48 (4):507-531.
How Scientific Models Can Explain.Alisa Bokulich - 2011 - Synthese 180 (1):33 - 45.
Can Classical Structures Explain Quantum Phenomena?Alisa Bokulich - 2008 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 59 (2):217-235.
Book Review. [REVIEW]Gordon Belot & Lina Jansson - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 41 (1):81-83.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Explanatory Abstractions.Lina Jansson & Juha Saatsi - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (3):817–844.
Models Don’T Decompose That Way: A Holistic View of Idealized Models.Collin Rice - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (1):179-208.
Viewing-as Explanations and Ontic Dependence.William D’Alessandro - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (3):769-792.

View all 56 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

How Scientific Models Can Explain.Alisa Bokulich - 2011 - Synthese 180 (1):33 - 45.
When Mechanistic Models Explain.Carl F. Craver - 2006 - Synthese 153 (3):355-376.
Dimensionality and Explanatory Power of Reading Models.Douglas Hanes & Gin McCollum - 2003 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (4):486-487.
Explanatory Depth.Brad Weslake - 2010 - Philosophy of Science 77 (2):273-294.
.[author unknown] - unknown
Dissecting Explanatory Power.Petri Ylikoski & Jaakko Kuorikoski - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 148 (2):201–219.
False Models as Explanatory Engines.Frank Hindriks - 2008 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 38 (3):334-360.
Explanation in Metaphysics?Johannes Persson - 2011 - Metaphysica 12 (2):165-181.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2012-11-20

Total views
155 ( #76,761 of 2,520,779 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
9 ( #79,279 of 2,520,779 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes