Erkenntnis 70 (1):101-118 (2009)

Jesus Pedro Zamora Bonilla
National Distance Education University
In this article we defend the inferential view of scientific models and idealisation. Models are seen as "inferential prostheses" construed by means of an idealisation-concretisation process, which we essentially understand as a kind of counterfactual deformation procedure . The value of scientific representation is understood in terms not only of the success of the inferential outcomes arrived at with its help, but also of the heuristic power of representation and their capacity to correct and improve our models. This provides us with an argument against Sugden's account of credible models: the likelihood or realisticness is not always a good measure of their acceptability. As opposed to "credibility" we propose the notion of "enlightening", which is the capacity of giving us understanding in the sense of an inferential ability
Keywords Philosophy   Logic   Ethics   Ontology   Epistemology   Philosophy
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DOI 10.1007/s10670-008-9139-5
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References found in this work BETA

Counterfactuals.David Kellogg Lewis - 1973 - Cambridge, MA, USA: Blackwell.
How the Laws of Physics Lie.Nancy Cartwright - 1983 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Model Pluralism.Walter Veit - 2019 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 50 (2):91-114.
Understanding with Theoretical Models.Petri Ylikoski & N. Emrah Aydinonat - 2014 - Journal of Economic Methodology 21 (1):19-36.

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