Science & Education 27 (7-8):805-810 (2018)

Melissa Jacquart
University of Cincinnati
Margaret Morrison, (2015) Reconstructing Reality: Models, Mathematics, and Simulations. Oxford University Press, New York. Scientific models, mathematical equations, and computer simulations are indispensable to scientific practice. Through the use of models, scientists are able to effectively learn about how the world works, and to discover new information. However, there is a challenge in understanding how scientists can generate knowledge from their use, stemming from the fact that models and computer simulations are necessarily incomplete representations, and partial descriptions, of their target systems. In order to construct a model, one must make idealizations, approximations, and abstractions. Given these constraints in constructing models, there is a question of whether they can provide new insight into how real systems actually work. So, how is it that highly abstract models inform us about the nature of the world, and more specifically, how do they provide explanatory knowledge? In Reconstructing Reality: Models, Mathematics, and Simulations, philosopher Margaret Morrison undertakes this task of ...
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DOI 10.1007/s11191-018-9992-9
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