How do models give us knowledge? The case of Carnot’s ideal heat engine

European Journal for Philosophy of Science 1 (3):309-334 (2011)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Our concern is in explaining how and why models give us useful knowledge. We argue that if we are to understand how models function in the actual scientific practice the representational approach to models proves either misleading or too minimal. We propose turning from the representational approach to the artefactual, which implies also a new unit of analysis: the activity of modelling. Modelling, we suggest, could be approached as a specific practice in which concrete artefacts, i.e., models, are constructed with the help of specific representational means and used in various ways, for example, for the purposes of scientific reasoning, theory construction and design of experiments and other artefacts. Furthermore, in this activity of modelling the model construction is intertwined with the construction of new phenomena, theoretical principles and new scientific concepts. We will illustrate these claims by studying the construction of the ideal heat engine by Sadi Carnot

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,075

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Making sense of modeling: beyond representation. [REVIEW]Isabelle Peschard - 2011 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 1 (3):335-352.
Amending and defending Critical Contextual Empiricism.Kirstin Borgerson - 2011 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 1 (3):435-449.
Just a paradigm: evidence-based medicine in epistemological context.Miriam Solomon - 2011 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 1 (3):451-466.
Explanation and Understanding: An Alternative to Strevens’ D epth.Angela Potochnik - 2011 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 1 (1):29-38.
The context distinction: controversies over feminist philosophy of science.Monica Aufrecht - 2011 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 1 (3):373-392.
Genuinely collective emotions.Bryce Huebner - 2011 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 1 (1):89-118.
Introduction: philosophy of science in practice. [REVIEW]Rachel Ankeny, Hasok Chang, Marcel Boumans & Mieke Boon - 2011 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 1 (3):303-307.

Analytics

Added to PP
2009-09-18

Downloads
192 (#103,716)

6 months
11 (#239,725)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author Profiles

Tarja Knuuttila
University of Vienna
Mieke Boon
University of Twente