Intuition and Awareness of Abstract Models: A Challenge for Realists

Philosophies 3 (1):3-0 (2018)
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It is plausible to think that, in order to actively employ models in their inquiries, scientists should be aware of their existence. The question is especially puzzling for realists in the case of abstract models, since it is not obvious how this is possible. Interestingly, though, this question has drawn little attention in the relevant literature. Perhaps the most obvious choice for a realist is appealing to intuition. In this paper, I argue that if scientific models were abstract entities, one could not be aware of them intuitively. I deploy my argumentation by building on Chudnoff’s elaboration on intuitive awareness. Furthermore, I shortly discuss some other options to which realists could turn in order to address the question of awareness.
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Archival date: 2018-02-25
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