Is credibility a guide to possibility? A challenge for toy models in science

Analysis 81 (3):470-478 (2021)
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Abstract
Several philosophers of science claim that scientific toy models afford knowledge of possibility, but answers to the question of why toy models can be expected to competently play this role are scarce. The main line of reply is that toy models support possibility claims insofar as they are credible. I raise a challenge for this credibility-thesis, drawing on a familiar problem for imagination-based modal epistemologies, and argue that it remains unanswered in the current literature. The credibility-thesis has a long way to go if it is to account for the epistemic merits of toy models.
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Archival date: 2021-05-18
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