Models as Points of View: The Case of System Dynamics [Book Review]

Foundations of Science 16 (4):383-391 (2011)
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We propose an analysis of the notion of model as crucially related to the notion of point of view. A model in this sense would always suggest a certain way of looking at a real system, a certain way of thinking about it and a certain way of acting upon it. We focus on System Dynamics as a paradigmatic case with respect to many of the features and problems we can find in the field of modelling and simulation. We analyse in detail some of those features. All of them would be present in many other cases of construction and use of models. Furthermore, they would support the thesis that a model can be fruitfully understood as offering a point of view capable of improving our own points of view over a certain system. The point of view offered by the model could include both non-conceptual and conceptual contents, it would have a complex structure and behaviour, and it would have direct consequences on the decisions made by the subjects adopting that point of view



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