Bridging the Gap: The Artifactual View Meets the Fiction View of Models

In Models and Idealizations in Science. Springer. pp. 159-177 (2021)
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Abstract

Fiora Salis compares the fictional and the artifactual views of models. She argues that both accounts contain several deep insights concerning the nature of scientific models but they also face some difficult challenges. She then puts forward an account of the ontology of models intended to incorporate the benefits of both views avoiding their main difficulties. Her key idea is that models are human-made artifacts that are akin to literary works of fiction. In this view, models are complex objects that are constituted by a model description and the model content generated within a game of make-believe. As per the fiction view, model descriptions are construed as props in a game of make-believe, where props are concrete objects that prescribe certain imaginings. As per the artifactual view, model descriptions are construed as concrete representational tools that enable and constrain a scientist’s cognitive processes and provide intersubjective epistemic access to their imaginings.

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Fiora Salis
University of York

Citations of this work

Radical artifactualism.Guilherme Sanches de Oliveira - 2022 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 12 (2):1-33.

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