Models in biology and physics: What's the difference?

Foundations of Science 14 (4):281-294 (2009)
Abstract
In Making Sense of Life , Keller emphasizes several differences between biology and physics. Her analysis focuses on significant ways in which modelling practices in some areas of biology, especially developmental biology, differ from those of the physical sciences. She suggests that natural models and modelling by homology play a central role in the former but not the latter. In this paper, I focus instead on those practices that are importantly similar, from the point of view of epistemology and cognitive science. I argue that concrete and abstract models are significant in both disciplines, that there are shared selection criteria for models in physics and biology, e.g. familiarity, and that modelling often occurs in a similar fashion.
Keywords Evelyn Fox Keller  Analogy  Structural similarity  Modelling  Structuralism
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DOI 10.1007/s10699-009-9160-4
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References found in this work BETA
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - University of Chicago Press.
The Aim and Structure of Physical Theory.Pierre Maurice Marie Duhem - 1954 - Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Simplicity.Elliott Sober - 1975 - Clarendon Press.

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Citations of this work BETA
Shifting to Structures in Physics and Biology: A Prophylactic for Promiscuous Realism.Steven French - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 42 (2):164-173.
Approximations, Idealizations and 'Experiments' at the Physics-Biology Interface.Darrell P. Rowbottom - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 42 (2):145-154.
Shifting to Structures in Physics and Biology: A Prophylactic for Promiscuous Realism.Steven French - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 42 (2):164-173.
Approximations, Idealizations and ‘Experiments’ at the Physics–Biology Interface.Darrell P. Rowbottom - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 42 (2):145-154.

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

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Approximations, Idealizations and 'Experiments' at the Physics-Biology Interface.Darrell P. Rowbottom - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 42 (2):145-154.
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