The puzzle of model-based explanation

In Tarja Knuuttila, Natalia Carrillo & Rami Koskinen (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Scientific Modeling. London: Routledge (forthcoming)
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Among the many functions of models, explanation is central to the functioning and aims of science. However, the discussions surrounding modeling and explanation in philosophy have largely remained separate from each other. This chapter seeks to bridge the gap by focusing on the puzzle of model-based explanation, asking how different philosophical accounts answer the following question: if idealizations and fictions introduce falsehoods into models, how can idealized and fictional models provide true explanations? The chapter provides a selective and critical overview of the available strategies for solving this puzzle, mainly focusing on idealized models and how they explain.

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N. Emrah Aydinonat
University of Helsinki


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