Topoi 39 (4):927-937 (2018)

Fiora Salis
University of York
How do scientific models represent in a way that enables us to discover new truths about reality and draw inferences about it? Contemporary accounts of scientific discovery answer this question by focusing on the cognitive mechanisms involved in the generation of new ideas and concepts in terms of a special sort of reasoning—or model-based reasoning—involving imagery. Alternatively, I argue that answering this question requires that we recognise the crucial role of the propositional imagination in the construction and development of models for the purpose of generating hypotheses that are plausible candidates for truth. I propose simple fictionalism as a new account of models as Waltonian games of make-believe and suggest that models can lead to genuine scientific discovery when they are used as representations that denote real world phenomena and generate two main kinds of theoretical hypotheses, model-world comparisons and direct attributions.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2020
DOI 10.1007/s11245-018-9582-0
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 68,908
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Logic of Scientific Discovery.Karl Popper - 1959 - Studia Logica 9:262-265.
The Logic of Scientific Discovery.K. Popper - 1959 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 10 (37):55-57.

View all 47 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Method of Cases in Context. [REVIEW]Alison Springle - 2019 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 27 (4):597-608.
Response to Akagi, Hughes, and Springle. [REVIEW]Edouard Machery - 2019 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 27 (4):608-623.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Scientific Discovery: That-What’s and What-That's.Samuel Schindler - 2015 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 2.
The Real Foundation of Fictional Worlds.Stacie Friend - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (1):29-42.
Explaining Scientific Discovery.Aleksandar Jokic - 1991 - Dissertation, University of California, Santa Barbara
Of Rabbits and Men: Fiction and Scientific Modelling.Roman Frigg & Fiora Salis - 2017 - In Bradley Armour-Garb & Fred Kroon (eds.), Philosophical Fictionalism. Oxford University Press.
Computational Scientific Discovery.D. Sozou Peter, C. Lane Peter, Addis Mark & Gobet Fernand - 2017 - In Lorenzo Magnani & Tommaso Bertolotti (eds.), Springer Handbook of Model-Based Science. Dordrecht: Springer. pp. 719-734.
A Few Words on Representation and Meaning. Comments on H.A. Simon's Paper on Scientific Discovery.Roberto Cordeschi - 1992 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 6 (1):19 – 21.
Complexity and Scientific Modelling.Bruce Edmonds - 2000 - Foundations of Science 5 (3):379-390.
Horizon for Scientific Practice: Scientific Discovery and Progress.James A. Marcum - 2010 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 24 (2):187-215.
Two Kinds of Knowledge in Scientific Discovery.Will Bridewell & Pat Langley - 2010 - Topics in Cognitive Science 2 (1):36-52.


Added to PP index

Total views
103 ( #111,993 of 2,497,768 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #283,405 of 2,497,768 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes