Seven Myths About the Fiction View of Models

In Alejandro Cassini & Juan Redmond (eds.), Models and Idealizations in Science: Artifactual and Fictional Approaches. Springer Verlag. pp. 133-157 (2021)
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Abstract

Roman Frigg and James Nguyen present a detailed statement and defense of the fiction view of scientific models, according to which they are akin to the characters and places of literary fiction. They argue that while some of the criticisms this view has attracted raise legitimate points, others are myths. In this chapter, they first identify and then rebut the following seven myths: that the fiction view regards products of science as falsehoods; that the fiction view holds that models are data-free; that the fiction view is antithetical to representation; that the fiction view trivializes epistemology; that the fiction view cannot account for the use of mathematics in the modeling; that the fiction view misconstrues the function of models in the scientific process; and that the fiction view stands on the wrong side of politics. As a result, they conclude that the fiction view of models, suitably understood, remains a viable position.

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Author Profiles

James Nguyen
Stockholm University
Roman Frigg
London School of Economics

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