Synthese 180 (1):33 - 45 (2011)
AbstractScientific models invariably involve some degree of idealization, abstraction, or nationalization of their target system. Nonetheless, I argue that there are circumstances under which such false models can offer genuine scientific explanations. After reviewing three different proposals in the literature for how models can explain, I shall introduce a more general account of what I call model explanations, which specify the conditions under which models can be counted as explanatory. I shall illustrate this new framework by applying it to the case of Bohr's model of the atom, and conclude by drawing some distinctions between phenomenological models, explanatory models, and fictional models
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How to Do Science with Models: A Philosophical Primer.Axel Gelfert - 2016 - Springer.
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References found in this work
Making Things Happen: A Theory of Causal Explanation.James Woodward - 2003 - Oxford University Press.
Models as Mediators: Perspectives on Natural and Social Science.Mary S. Morgan & Margaret Morrison (eds.) - 1999 - Cambridge University Press.
Making Things Happen. A Theory of Causal Explanation.Michael Strevens - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (1):233-249.
Galilean Idealization.Ernan McMullin - 1985 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 16 (3):247.