Synthese 192 (12):3817-3837 (2015)
AbstractThis paper provides an inferentialist account of model-based understanding by combining a counterfactual account of explanation and an inferentialist account of representation with a view of modeling as extended cognition. This account makes it understandable how the manipulation of surrogate systems like models can provide genuinely new empirical understanding about the world. Similarly, the account provides an answer to the question how models, that always incorporate assumptions that are literally untrue of the model target, can still provide factive explanations. Finally, the paper shows how the contrastive counterfactual theory of explanation can provide tools for assessing the explanatory power of models
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References found in this work
Making Things Happen: A Theory of Causal Explanation.James Woodward - 2003 - Oxford University Press.
Supersizing the Mind: Embodiment, Action, and Cognitive Extension.Andy Clark (ed.) - 2008 - Oxford University Press.
Making It Explicit: Reasoning, Representing, and Discursive Commitment.Robert Brandom - 1994 - Harvard University Press.
Citations of this work
Understanding From Machine Learning Models.Emily Sullivan - 2022 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 73 (1):109-133.
Fiction As a Vehicle for Truth: Moving Beyond the Ontic Conception.Alisa Bokulich - 2016 - The Monist 99 (3):260-279.
Data models, representation and adequacy-for-purpose.Alisa Bokulich & Wendy Parker - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-26.
Idealizations and Understanding: Much Ado About Nothing?Emily Sullivan & Kareem Khalifa - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (4):673-689.
Integrating Philosophy of Understanding with the Cognitive Sciences.Kareem Khalifa, Farhan Islam, J. P. Gamboa, Daniel Wilkenfeld & Daniel Kostić - 2022 - Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience 16.
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