Philosophy of Science 67 (3):S260-S272 (2000)

Abstract
The biological sciences have become increasingly reliant on so-called ‘model organisms’. I argue that in this domain, the concept of a descriptive model is essential for understanding scientific practice. Using a case study, I show how such a model was formulated in a preexplanatory context for subsequent use as a prototype from which explanations ultimately may be generated both within the immediate domain of the original model and in additional, related domains. To develop this concept of a descriptive model, I focus on use of the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans and the wiring diagrams that were developed as models of its neural structure. In addition, implications of the concept of a descriptive model, particularly its relevance for the data-phenomena distinction as well as its relation to long-standing debates on realism, are briefly examined.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1086/392824
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,379
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

What’s so Special About Model Organisms?Rachel A. Ankeny & Sabina Leonelli - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 42 (2):313-323.
From Genetic to Genomic Regulation: Iterativity in microRNA Research.Maureen A. O’Malley, Kevin C. Elliott & Richard M. Burian - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 41 (4):407-417.

View all 10 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Neural Circuits and Block Diagrams.J. J. C. Smart - 1999 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (5):849-849.
A Contribution to the Theory of the Living Organism.Wilfred Eade Agar - 1943 - Melbourne, Melbourne University Press in Association with Oxford University Press.
Essays in Philosophical Biology.William Morton Wheeler - 1939 - New York: Russell & Russell.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2014-03-21

Total views
1 ( #1,552,804 of 2,519,678 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #406,314 of 2,519,678 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.

My notes