Models, Fictions and Artifacts

In Wenceslao J. Gonzalez (ed.), Language and Scientific Research. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 199-22 (2021)
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Abstract

This paper discusses modeling from the artifactual perspective. The artifactual approach conceives models as erotetic devices. They are purpose-built systems of dependencies that are constrained in view of answering a pending scientific question, motivated by theoretical or empirical considerations. In treating models as artifacts, the artifactual approach is able to address the various languages of sciences that are overlooked by the traditional accounts that concentrate on the relationship of representation in an abstract and general manner. In contrast, the artifactual approach focuses on epistemic affordances of different kinds of external representational and other tools employed in model construction. In doing so, the artifactual account gives a unified treatment of different model types as it circumvents the tendency of the fictional and other representational approaches to separate model systems from their “model descriptions”.

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Tarja Knuuttila
University of Vienna

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