Authors
Tarja Knuuttila
University of Vienna
Abstract
The recent discussion on scientific representation has focused on models and their relationship to the real world. It has been assumed that models give us knowledge because they represent their supposed real target systems. However, here agreement among philosophers of science has tended to end as they have presented widely different views on how representation should be understood. I will argue that the traditional representational approach is too limiting as regards the epistemic value of modelling given the focus on the relationship between a single model and its supposed target system, and the neglect of the actual representational means with which scientists construct models. I therefore suggest an alternative account of models as epistemic tools. This amounts to regarding them as concrete artefacts that are built by specific representational means and are constrained by their design in such a way that they facilitate the study of certain scientific questions, and learning from them by means of construction and manipulation.
Keywords Scientific mod  Epistemic tools  Representation  Modelling
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DOI 10.1016/j.shpsa.2010.11.034
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References found in this work BETA

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Citations of this work BETA

Model Pluralism.Walter Veit - 2019 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 50 (2):91-114.
Data models, representation and adequacy-for-purpose.Alisa Bokulich & Wendy Parker - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-26.
Scientific Representation.Roman Frigg & James Nguyen - 2016 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Modeling Morality.Walter Veit - 2019 - In Matthieu Fontaine, Cristina Barés-Gómez, Francisco Salguero-Lamillar, Lorenzo Magnani & Ángel Nepomuceno-Fernández (eds.), Model-Based Reasoning in Science and Technology. Springer Verlag. pp. 83–102.

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