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2016

Philosophy

Departmental Papers (Philosophy)

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Modeling, Michael Weisberg Jan 2016

Modeling, Michael Weisberg

Departmental Papers (Philosophy)

This article focuses on the methodology of modeling and how it can be applied to philosophical questions. It looks at various traditional views of modeling and defends the idea that modeling is a form of surrogate reasoning involving two distinct steps: indirect representation of a target system using a model and analysis of that model. The article considers different accounts of model/target representational relations, defending an account of similarity. It concludes by presenting several examples of the use of models in philosophy, suggestions for philosophers new to modeling, and an assessment of the relationship between thought experiments and models.