How to Do Science with Models

A Philosophical Primer

  • Axel Gelfert

Part of the SpringerBriefs in Philosophy book series (BRIEFSPHILOSOPH)

Table of contents

About this book

Introduction

Taking scientific practice as its starting point, this book charts the complex territory of models used in science. It examines what scientific models are and what their function is. Reliance on models is pervasive in science, and scientists often need to construct models in order to explain or predict anything of interest at all. The diversity of kinds of models one finds in science – ranging from toy models and scale models to theoretical and mathematical models – has attracted attention not only from scientists, but also from philosophers, sociologists, and historians of science. This has given rise to a wide variety of case studies that look at the different uses to which models have been put in specific scientific contexts. By exploring current debates on the use and building of models via cutting-edge examples drawn from physics and biology, the book provides broad insight into the methodology of modelling in the natural sciences. It pairs specific arguments with introductory material relating to the ontology and the function of models, and provides some historical context to the debates as well as a sketch of general positions in the philosophy of scientific models in the process.


Keywords

Mathematical Models in Science Model-based Representation Scientific Modelling Scientific Models and Simulations Scientific Practice Scientific Representation

Authors and affiliations

  • Axel Gelfert
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore

Bibliographic information

  • DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-27954-1
  • Copyright Information The Author(s) 2016
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Religion and Philosophy
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-27952-7
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-27954-1
  • Series Print ISSN 2211-4548
  • Series Online ISSN 2211-4556
  • About this book
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