Authors
Ylwa Sjölin Wirling
University of Gothenburg
Abstract
Empiricist modal epistemologies can be attractive, but are often limited in the range of modal knowledge they manage to secure. In this paper, I argue that one such account – similarity-based modal empiricism – can be extended to also cover justification of many scientifically interesting possibility claims. Drawing on recent work on modelling in the philosophy of science, I suggest that scientific modelling is usefully seen as the creation and investigation of relevantly similar epistemic counterparts of real target systems. On the basis of experiential knowledge of what is actually the case with the models, one can draw justified conclusions about what is de re possible for the target systems.
Keywords Modal Epistemology  Modal Empiricism  Similarity  Modal Modeling  Scientific models
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