ONCE UPON A TIME ... A Fictionalist Account of Scientific Models & Scientific Representation

Dissertation, Antwerp University (2011)
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(MA Thesis Antwerp University) In this thesis I want to investigate the notion of regarding scientific models as works of fiction and to examin the consequences of this view on scientific representation and scientific realism. I will do this by first of all giving an extensive overview of what literature in philosophy of science tells us about scientific theories, scientific models, and scientific representation. I will then turn back to look at scientific representation in more detail followed by an extensive look at how two prominent contemporary philosophers of science, Roman Frigg and Mauricio Suárez, adress the subject of fiction and fictionalism in scientific modelling. The consequences of this for scientific realism at first sight seems devastating. There seems to be an unovercomable gap between the two. At a closer look there seems to be a way out in which the fictionalist view can happily coexist alongside scientific realism.



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