Models and Representation

Part of the New Directions in the Philosophy of Science book series (NDPS)


This chapter will introduce the two main problems addressed in this book. We will see that theoretical modelling presents us with a number of ontological puzzles (Section 1.2.1) and that many philosophers believe that solving these puzzles requires us to understand theoretical models as abstract or fictional entities (Sections 1.2.2 and 1.2.3). We will then look more closely at the problem of scientific representation (Sections 1.3.1–1.3.3). Recently, some have argued that this problem does not require a solution, since scientific models depend on other, more fundamental, forms of representation. At the end of the chapter, we will see what is wrong with this argument, and why the problem of scientific representation must still be faced (Sections 1.3.4 and 1.3.5).


Scientific Representation Scientific Model Fictional Character Concrete Object Simple Harmonic Oscillator 
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Copyright information

© Adam Toon 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of BielefeldGermany

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