An Inferential Account of Model Explanation

Philosophia 47 (1):99-116 (2019)
  Copy   BIBTEX


This essay develops an inferential account of model explanation, based on Mauricio Suárez’s inferential conception of scientific representation and Alisa Bokulich’s counterfactual account of model explanation. It is suggested that the fact that a scientific model can explain is essentially linked to how a modeler uses an established model to make various inferences about the target system on the basis of results derived from the model. The inference practice is understood as a two-step activity, with the first step involving making counterfactual statements about the model itself and the second step involving making hypothetical statements transferring over claims derived from the model onto the target. To illustrate how this two-step activity proceeds, an agent-based simulation model is discussed.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,219

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Explanation and modelization in a comprehensive inferential account.Donato-Rodríguez Xavieder & Zamora-Bonilla Jesús - 2009 - In Henk W. de Regt, Stephan Hartmann & Okasha Samir (eds.), EPSA Philosophy of Science: Amsterdam 2009.
EMU and inference: what the explanatory model of scientific understanding ignores.Mark Newman - 2014 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 4 (1):55-74.
Depth: An Account of Scientific Explanation.Michael Strevens - 2008 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Inferentially Remembering that p.Andrew Naylor - 2015 - Logos and Episteme 6 (2):225-230.
Refining the Inferential Model of Scientific Understanding.Mark Newman - 2013 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 27 (2):173-197.
The interrogative model: Historical inquiry and explanation.Eric Brook - 2007 - Journal of the Philosophy of History 1 (2):137-159.
In Defense of Weak Inferential Internalism.David Alexander - 2012 - Journal of Philosophical Research 37:379-385.


Added to PP

88 (#186,682)

6 months
11 (#196,102)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Wesley Fang
Shanxi University

References found in this work

Depth: An Account of Scientific Explanation.Michael Strevens - 2008 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Explaining the brain: mechanisms and the mosaic unity of neuroscience.Carl F. Craver - 2007 - New York : Oxford University Press,: Oxford University Press, Clarendon Press.

View all 71 references / Add more references