Erkenntnis 70 (1):59-80 (2009)

Authors
Tarja Knuuttila
University of Vienna
Abstract
This paper examines two recent approaches to the nature and functioning of economic models: models as isolating representations and models as credible constructions. The isolationist view conceives of economic models as surrogate systems that isolate some of the causal mechanisms or tendencies of their respective target systems, while the constructionist approach treats them rather like pure constructions or fictional entities that nevertheless license different kinds of inferences. I will argue that whereas the isolationist view is still tied to the representationalist understanding of models that takes the model-target dyad as the basic unit of analysis, the constructionist perspective can better accommodate the way we actually acquire knowledge through them. Using the example of Tobin’s ultra-Keynesian model I will show how many of the epistemic characteristics of modelling tend to go unrecognised if too much focus is placed on the model-target dyad.
Keywords Philosophy   Logic   Ethics   Ontology   Epistemology   Philosophy
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DOI 10.1007/s10670-008-9137-7
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References found in this work BETA

The Strategy of Model-Based Science.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2006 - Biology and Philosophy 21 (5):725-740.
How Models Are Used to Represent Reality.Ronald N. Giere - 2004 - Philosophy of Science 71 (5):742-752.
Three Kinds of Idealization.Michael Weisberg - 2007 - Journal of Philosophy 104 (12):639-659.

View all 33 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Modelling and Representing: An Artefactual Approach to Model-Based Representation.Tarja Knuuttila - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 42 (2):262-271.
Model Pluralism.Walter Veit - 2019 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 50 (2):91-114.

View all 28 citations / Add more citations

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