Modelling with words: Narrative and natural selection


Authors
Dominic K. Dimech
University of Sydney
Abstract
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 described that involves at least some fictitious elements but represents the salient causal components of natural selection. I pronounce the importance of prioritising observation of scientific practice for the philosophy of modelling and I suggest that there are other likely model types that are excluded from philosophical accounts.
Keywords Modelling  Modeling  Verbal Models  Charles Darwin  Narrative  Natural Selection  Evolution  On the Orign of Species
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DOI 10.1016/j.shpsc.2017.02.003
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References found in this work BETA

On the Origin of Species.Charles Darwin - 2008 - Oxford University Press.
The Scientific Image.Bas C. Van Fraassen - 1980 - Journal of Philosophy 79 (5):274-283.

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