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  1. The Epistemic Benefits of Generalisation in Modelling I: Systems and Applicability.Aki Lehtinen - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):10343-10370.
    This paper provides a conceptual framework that allows for distinguishing between different kinds of generalisation and applicability. It is argued that generalising models may bring epistemic benefits. They do so if they show that restrictive and unrealistic assumptions do not threaten the credibility of results derived from models. There are two different notions of applicability, generic and specific, which give rise to three different kinds of generalizations. Only generalising a result brings epistemic benefits concerning the truth of model components or (...)
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  • Synthetic Fictions: Turning Imagined Biological Systems Into Concrete Ones.Tarja Knuuttila & Rami Koskinen - 2020 - Synthese 198 (9):8233-8250.
    The recent discussion of fictional models has focused on imagination, implicitly considering fictions as something nonconcrete. We present two cases from synthetic biology that can be viewed as concrete fictions. Both minimal cells and alternative genetic systems are modal in nature: they, as well as their abstract cousins, can be used to study unactualized possibilia. We approach these synthetic constructs through Vaihinger’s notion of a semi-fiction and Goodman’s notion of semifactuality. Our study highlights the relative existence of such concrete fictions. (...)
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  • Models, Fictions and Artifacts.Tarja Knuuttila - 2021 - In Wenceslao J. Gonzalez (ed.), Language and Scientific Research. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 199-22.
    This paper discusses modeling from the artifactual perspective. The artifactual approach conceives models as erotetic devices. They are purpose-built systems of dependencies that are constrained in view of answering a pending scientific question, motivated by theoretical or empirical considerations. In treating models as artifacts, the artifactual approach is able to address the various languages of sciences that are overlooked by the traditional accounts that concentrate on the relationship of representation in an abstract and general manner. In contrast, the artifactual approach (...)
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  • Epistemic Artifacts and the Modal Dimension of Modeling.Tarja Knuuttila - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (3):1-18.
    The epistemic value of models has traditionally been approached from a representational perspective. This paper argues that the artifactual approach evades the problem of accounting for representation and better accommodates the modal dimension of modeling. From an artifactual perspective, models are viewed as erotetic vehicles constrained by their construction and available representational tools. The modal dimension of modeling is approached through two case studies. The first portrays mathematical modeling in economics, while the other discusses the modeling practice of synthetic biology, (...)
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  • Radical Embodied Cognitive Science and “Real Cognition”.Guilherme Sanches de Oliveira, Vicente Raja & Anthony Chemero - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 1):115-136.
    A persistent criticism of radical embodied cognitive science is that it will be impossible to explain “real cognition” without invoking mental representations. This paper provides an account of explicit, real-time thinking of the kind we engage in when we imagine counter-factual situations, remember the past, and plan for the future. We first present a very general non-representational account of explicit thinking, based on pragmatist philosophy of science. We then present a more detailed instantiation of this general account drawing on nonlinear (...)
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  • Capturing the representational and the experimental in the modelling of artificial societies.David Anzola - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (3):1-29.
    Even though the philosophy of simulation is intended as a comprehensive reflection about the practice of computer simulation in contemporary science, its output has been disproportionately shaped by research on equation-based simulation in the physical and climate sciences. Hence, the particularities of alternative practices of computer simulation in other scientific domains are not sufficiently accounted for in the current philosophy of simulation literature. This article centres on agent-based social simulation, a relatively established type of simulation in the social sciences, to (...)
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  • An Artifactual Perspective on Idealization: Constant Capacitance and the Hodgkin and Huxley Model.Natalia Carrillo & Tarja Knuuttila - 2021 - In Alejandro Cassini & Juan Redmond (eds.), Models and Idealizations in Science: Fictional and Artefactual Approaches. Cham: Springer.
    There are two traditions of thinking about idealization offering almost opposite views on their functioning and epistemic status. While one tradition views idealizations as epistemic deficiencies, the other one highlights the epistemic benefits of idealization. Both of these, however, identify idealization with misrepresentation. In this article, we instead approach idealization from the artifactual perspective, comparing it to the distortion-to-reality accounts of idealization, and exemplifying it through the case of the Hodgkin and Huxley model of nerve impulse. From the artifactual perspective, (...)
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  • Throwing Spatial Light: On Topological Explanations in Gestalt Psychology.Bartłomiej Skowron & Krzysztof Wójtowicz - 2020 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences (3):1-22.
    It is a well-known fact that mathematics plays a crucial role in physics; in fact, it is virtually impossible to imagine contemporary physics without it. But it is questionable whether mathematical concepts could ever play such a role in psychology or philosophy. In this paper, we set out to examine a rather unobvious example of the application of topology, in the form of the theory of persons proposed by Kurt Lewin in his Principles of Topological Psychology. Our aim is to (...)
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