A model of models

Abstract

Although many philosophers of science have recognized the importance of modeling in contemporary science, relatively little work has been done in developing a general account of models. The most widely accepted account, put forth by advocates of the semantic conception of theories, misleadingly identifies scientific models with the models of mathematical logic. I present an alternative theory of scientific models in which models are defined by their representational relation to a physical system. I explore in some detail a particular sort of model called a ‘mechanical model’ I illustrate the applicability of my approach by applying it to a problem in contemporary speech perception research. The model of models is used to analyze how competing models of the mechanisms of vowel normalization are constructed, tested, and revised.

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2009-01-28

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Stuart Glennan
Butler University

References found in this work

Aspects of the Theory of Syntax.Noam Chomsky - 1965 - Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
Models: The blueprints for laws.Nancy Cartwright - 1997 - Philosophy of Science 64 (4):303.

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