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The Nature of Model-World Comparisons

The Monist 99 (3):243-259 (2016)

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  1. Semblance or Similarity? Reflections on Simulation and Similarity: Michael Weisberg: Simulation and Similarity: Using Models to Understand the World. Oxford University Press, 2013. 224pp. ISBN 9780199933662, $65.00.Jay Odenbaugh - 2015 - Biology and Philosophy 30 (2):277-291.
    In this essay, I critically evaluate components of Michael Weisberg’s approach to models and modeling in his book Simulation and Similarity. First, I criticize his account of the ontology of models and mathematics. Second, I respond to his objections to fictionalism regarding models arguing that they fail. Third, I sketch a deflationary approach to models that retains many elements of his account but avoids the inflationary commitments.
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  • Models and Fiction.Roman Frigg - 2010 - Synthese 172 (2):251-268.
    Most scientific models are not physical objects, and this raises important questions. What sort of entity are models, what is truth in a model, and how do we learn about models? In this paper I argue that models share important aspects in common with literary fiction, and that therefore theories of fiction can be brought to bear on these questions. In particular, I argue that the pretence theory as developed by Walton has the resources to answer these questions. I introduce (...)
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  • How Models Are Used to Represent Reality.Ronald N. Giere - 2004 - Philosophy of Science 71 (5):742-752.
    Most recent philosophical thought about the scientific representation of the world has focused on dyadic relationships between language-like entities and the world, particularly the semantic relationships of reference and truth. Drawing inspiration from diverse sources, I argue that we should focus on the pragmatic activity of representing, so that the basic representational relationship has the form: Scientists use models to represent aspects of the world for specific purposes. Leaving aside the terms "law" and "theory," I distinguish principles, specific conditions, models, (...)
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  • Fictional Entities.Fiora Salis - 2013 - Online Companion to Problems in Analytic Philosophy.
    In this entry I present one of the most hotly debated issues in contemporary analytic philosophy regarding the nature of fictional entities and the motivations that might be adduced for and against positing them into our ontology. The entry is divided in two parts. In the first part I offer an overview of the main accounts of the metaphysics of fictional entities according to three standard realist views, fictional Meinongianism, fictional possibilism and fictional creationism. In the second part I describe (...)
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  • Empty Names, Fictional Names, Mythical Names.David Braun - 2005 - Noûs 39 (4):596–631.
    John Stuart Mill (1843) thought that proper names denote individuals and do not connote attributes. Contemporary Millians agree, in spirit. We hold that the semantic content of a proper name is simply its referent. We also think that the semantic content of a declarative sentence is a Russellian structured proposition whose constituents are the semantic contents of the sentence’s constituents. This proposition is what the sentence semantically expresses. Therefore, we think that sentences containing proper names semantically express singular propositions, which (...)
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  • Fictional Names.Gregory Currie - 1988 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 66 (4):471 – 488.
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  • Fiction in Science.Roman Frigg - unknown
    At first blush, the idea that fictions play a role in science seems to be off the mark. Realists and antirealists alike believe that science instructs us about how the world is. Fiction not only seems to play no role in such an endeavour; it seems to detract from it. The aims of science and fiction seem to be diametrically opposed and a view amalgamating the two rightly seems to be the cause of discomfort and concern.
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  • Missing Systems and the Face Value Practice.Martin Thomson-Jones - 2010 - Synthese 172 (2):283-299.
    Call a bit of scientific discourse a description of a missing system when (i) it has the surface appearance of an accurate description of an actual, concrete system (or kind of system) from the domain of inquiry, but (ii) there are no actual, concrete systems in the world around us fitting the description it contains, and (iii) that fact is recognised from the outset by competent practitioners of the scientific discipline in question. Scientific textbooks, classroom lectures, and journal articles abound (...)
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  • Metaphor and Prop Oriented Make‐Believe.Kendall L. Walton - 1993 - European Journal of Philosophy 1 (1):39-57.
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  • Hermeneutic Fictionalism.Jason Stanley - 2001 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 25 (1):36–71.
    Fictionalist approaches to ontology have been an accepted part of philosophical methodology for some time now. On a fictionalist view, engaging in discourse that involves apparent reference to a realm of problematic entities is best viewed as engaging in a pretense. Although in reality, the problematic entities do not exist, according to the pretense we engage in when using the discourse, they do exist. In the vocabulary of Burgess and Rosen (1997, p. 6), a nominalist construal of a given discourse (...)
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  • Explaining Science.Ronald Giere - 1991 - Noûs 25 (3):386-388.
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  • Intensional Logic and the Metaphysics of Intentionality.Edward N. Zalta - 1988 - Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
    This book tackles the issues that arise in connection with intensional logic -- a formal system for representing and explaining the apparent failures of certain important principles of inference such as the substitution of identicals and existential generalization -- and intentional states --mental states such as beliefs, hopes, and desires that are directed towards the world. The theory offers a unified explanation of the various kinds of inferential failures associated with intensional logic but also unifies the study of intensional contexts (...)
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  • Aboutness.Stephen Yablo - 2014 - Princeton University Press.
    Aboutness has been studied from any number of angles. Brentano made it the defining feature of the mental. Phenomenologists try to pin down the aboutness-features of particular mental states. Materialists sometimes claim to have grounded aboutness in natural regularities. Attempts have even been made, in library science and information theory, to operationalize the notion. But it has played no real role in philosophical semantics. This is surprising; sentences have aboutness-properties if anything does. Aboutness is the first book to examine through (...)
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  • An Agent-Based Conception of Models and Scientific Representation.Ronald N. Giere - 2010 - Synthese 172 (2):269–281.
    I argue for an intentional conception of representation in science that requires bringing scientific agents and their intentions into the picture. So the formula is: Agents (1) intend; (2) to use model, M; (3) to represent a part of the world, W; (4) for some purpose, P. This conception legitimates using similarity as the basic relationship between models and the world. Moreover, since just about anything can be used to represent anything else, there can be no unified ontology of models. (...)
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  • Who is a Modeler?Michael Weisberg - 2007 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 58 (2):207-233.
    Many standard philosophical accounts of scientific practice fail to distinguish between modeling and other types of theory construction. This failure is unfortunate because there are important contrasts among the goals, procedures, and representations employed by modelers and other kinds of theorists. We can see some of these differences intuitively when we reflect on the methods of theorists such as Vito Volterra and Linus Pauling on the one hand, and Charles Darwin and Dimitri Mendeleev on the other. Much of Volterra's and (...)
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  • The Nature of Fiction.Gregory Currie - 1990 - Cambridge University Press.
    This important book provides a theory about the nature of fiction, and about the relation between the author, the reader and the fictional text. The approach is philosophical: that is to say, the author offers an account of key concepts such as fictional truth, fictional characters, and fiction itself. The book argues that the concept of fiction can be explained partly in terms of communicative intentions, partly in terms of a condition which excludes relations of counterfactual dependence between the world (...)
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  • Modal Meinongianism and Fiction: The Best of Three Worlds.Francesco Berto - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 152 (3):313-35.
    We outline a neo-Meinongian framework labeled as Modal Meinongian Metaphysics (MMM) to account for the ontology and semantics of fictional discourse. Several competing accounts of fictional objects are originated by the fact that our talking of them mirrors incoherent intuitions: mainstream theories of fiction privilege some such intuitions, but are forced to account for others via complicated paraphrases of the relevant sentences. An ideal theory should resort to as few paraphrases as possible. In Sect. 1, we make this explicit via (...)
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  • Models and Fictions in Science.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 143 (1):101 - 116.
    Non-actual model systems discussed in scientific theories are compared to fictions in literature. This comparison may help with the understanding of similarity relations between models and real-world target systems. The ontological problems surrounding fictions in science may be particularly difficult, however. A comparison is also made to ontological problems that arise in the philosophy of mathematics.
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  • Modeling Without Models.Arnon Levy - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (3):781-798.
    Modeling is an important scientific practice, yet it raises significant philosophical puzzles. Models are typically idealized, and they are often explored via imaginative engagement and at a certain “distance” from empirical reality. These features raise questions such as what models are and how they relate to the world. Recent years have seen a growing discussion of these issues, including a number of views that treat modeling in terms of indirect representation and analysis. Indirect views treat the model as a bona (...)
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  • The Strategy of Model-Based Science.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2006 - Biology and Philosophy 21 (5):725-740.
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  • Simulation and Similarity: Using Models to Understand the World.Michael Weisberg - 2013 - Oxford University Press.
    one takes to be the most salient, any pair could be judged more similar to each other than to the third. Goodman uses this second problem to showthat there can be no context-free similarity metric, either in the trivial case or in a scientifically ...
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  • Models as Make-Believe: Imagination, Fiction and Scientific Representation.Adam Toon - 2012 - Palgrave-Macmillan.
    Models as Make-Believe offers a new approach to scientific modelling by looking to an unlikely source of inspiration: the dolls and toy trucks of children's games of make-believe.
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  • Creatures of Fiction.Peter van Inwagen - 1977 - American Philosophical Quarterly 14 (4):299 - 308.
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  • Can Classical Structures Explain Quantum Phenomena?Alisa Bokulich - 2008 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 59 (2):217-235.
    In semiclassical mechanics one finds explanations of quantum phenomena that appeal to classical structures. These explanations are prima facie problematic insofar as the classical structures they appeal to do not exist. Here I defend the view that fictional structures can be genuinely explanatory by introducing a model-based account of scientific explanation. Applying this framework to the semiclassical phenomenon of wavefunction scarring, I argue that not only can the fictional classical trajectories explain certain aspects of this quantum phenomenon, but also that (...)
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  • The Nature of Fiction.Susan L. Feagin - 1992 - Philosophical Review 101 (4):948.
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  • Mimesis as Make-Believe.Kendall L. Walton - 1996 - Synthese 109 (3):413-434.
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  • Distinguishing Explanatory From Nonexplanatory Fictions.Alisa Bokulich - 2012 - Philosophy of Science 79 (5):725-737.
    There is a growing recognition that fictions have a number of legitimate functions in science, even when it comes to scientific explanation. However, the question then arises, what distinguishes an explanatory fiction from a nonexplanatory one? Here I examine two cases—one in which there is a consensus in the scientific community that the fiction is explanatory and another in which the fiction is not explanatory. I shall show how my account of “model explanations” is able to explain this asymmetry, and (...)
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  • Capturing the Scientific Imagination.Fiora Salis & Roman Frigg - 2016 - In Peter Godfrey-Smith & Arnon Levy (eds.), The Scientific Imagination. New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
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  • Fiction and Fictionalism.Mark Sainsbury - 2010
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  • Fiction As a Vehicle for Truth: Moving Beyond the Ontic Conception.Alisa Bokulich - 2016 - The Monist 99 (3):260-279.
    Despite widespread evidence that fictional models play an explanatory role in science, resistance remains to the idea that fictions can explain. A central source of this resistance is a particular view about what explanations are, namely, the ontic conception of explanation. According to the ontic conception, explanations just are the concrete entities in the world. I argue this conception is ultimately incoherent and that even a weaker version of the ontic conception fails. Fictional models can succeed in offering genuine explanations (...)
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  • Fiction and Metaphysics.Amie Thomasson - 1999 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 60 (2):190-192.
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  • A Paradox of Existence.Stephen Yablo - 2000 - In T. Hofweber & A. Everett (eds.), Empty Names, Fiction, and the Puzzles of Non-Existence. CSLI Publications. pp. 275--312.
    ontology metaontology wright platonism fregean existence epistemology.
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  • Why Scientific Models Should Not Be Regarded as Works of Fiction.Ronald Giere - 2009 - In Mauricio Suárez (ed.), Fictions in Science: Philosophical Essays on Modeling and Idealization. Routledge. pp. 248--258.
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  • Semantic Pretense.Mark Richard - 2000 - In T. Hofweber & A. Everett (eds.), Empty Names, Fiction, and the Puzzles of Non-Existence. CSLI Publications. pp. 205--32.
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  • Abstract Objects.Edward N. Zalta - 1985 - Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 90 (1):135-137.
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  • Index.Stephen Yablo - 2014 - In Aboutness. Princeton University Press. pp. 219-222.
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