Argumenta 6 (1):65-80 (2020)

Authors
Fiora Salis
University of York
Abstract
Theoretical models are widely held as sources of knowledge of reality. Imagination is vital to their development and to the generation of plausible hypotheses about reality. But how can imagination, which is typically held to be completely free, effectively instruct us about reality? In this paper I argue that the key to answering this question is in constrained uses of imagination. More specifically, I identify make-believe as the right notion of imagination at work in modelling. I propose the first overarching taxonomy of types of constraints on scientific imagination that enables knowledge of reality. And I identify two main kinds of knowledge enabled by models, knowledge of the imaginary scenario specified by models and knowledge of reality.
Keywords Scientific models  Imagination  Knowledge  Make-believe  Counterfactual imagination
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Varieties of Reference.Gareth Evans - 1982 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
On Denoting.Bertrand Russell - 2005 - Mind 114 (456):873 - 887.

View all 52 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

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.
The Productive Anarchy of Scientific Imagination.Michael T. Stuart - 2020 - Philosophy of Science 87 (5):968-978.
Imagination.Fiora Salis - 2014 - Online Companion to Problems in Analytic Philosophy.
Imagination: A Sine Qua Non of Science.Michael T. Stuart - 2017 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy (49):9-32.
Imagination Through Knowledge.Shannon Spaulding - 2016 - In Amy Kind & Peter Kung (eds.), Knowledge Through Imagination. Oxford University Press. pp. 207-226.
Toward a Pluralist Account of the Imagination in Science.Alice Murphy - 2020 - Philosophy of Science 87 (5):957-967.
Science and the Imagination in the Age of Reason.R. Downie - 2001 - Medical Humanities 27 (2):58-63.
Counterfactual Imagination as a Mental Tool for Innovation.Monika Chylińska - 2017 - Avant: Trends in Interdisciplinary Studies 8 (T):241-253.
Imaginative Constraints and Generative Models.Daniel Williams - 2021 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 99 (1):68-82.
Imagination in Scientific Practice.Steven French - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10 (3):1-19.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2021-12-12

Total views
55 ( #206,354 of 2,505,224 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
38 ( #23,407 of 2,505,224 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes