University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy

Physics and Astronomy Calendar

Friday, October 30th 2015
Speaker: Margaret Morrison, University of Toronto
Subject: Fictional Models and Models as Fictions: Disentangling the Difference

Because models often represent the world in unrealistic ways an increasingly popular view in the philosophical literature classifies models as fictions, aligning the way they convey information with strategies used in various forms of fictional writing. While fictional models certainly play a role in science I want to resist the “models as fictions” view by arguing that it not only has the undesirable consequence of erasing an important distinction between different types of models and modelling practices, but it fails to enhance our understanding of the role that fictional models do play in the transmission of scientific knowledge.

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