Philosophy of Science 73 (5):699-709 (2006)

Nancy Nersessian
Harvard University
This paper examines the nature of model-based reasoning in the interplay between theory and experiment in the context of biomedical engineering research laboratories, where problem solving involves using physical models. These "model systems" are sites of experimentation where in vitro models are used to screen, control, and simulate specific aspects of in vivo phenomena. As with all models, simulation devices are idealized representations, but they are also systems themselves, possessing engineering constraints. Drawing on research in contemporary cognitive science that construes cognition as occurring in a complex distributed system comprising people and artifacts, I argue that reasoning with model systems is a constraint satisfaction process involving co-construction, manipulation, and revision of mental and physical models.
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DOI 10.1086/518771
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References found in this work BETA

How the Laws of Physics Lie.Nancy Cartwright - 1983 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Perceptual Symbol Systems.Lawrence W. Barsalou - 1999 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (4):577-660.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Social Dimensions of Scientific Knowledge.Helen Longino - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Distributed Cognition in Scientific Contexts.Hyundeuk Cheon - 2014 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 45 (1):23-33.
Inference and the Structure of Concepts.Matías Osta Vélez - 2020 - Dissertation, Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München
Physical models and embodied cognition.Ulrich E. Stegmann - 2018 - Synthese 197 (10):4387-4405.

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