Models and Modeling in the Sciences: A Philosophical Introduction

Book by Stephen M. Downes: “Biologists, climate scientists, and economists all rely on models to move their work forward. In this book, Stephen M. Downes explores the use of models in these and other fields to introduce readers to the various philosophical issues that arise in scientific modeling. Readers learn that paying attention to models plays a crucial role in appraising scientific work. 

This book first presents a wide range of models from a number of different scientific disciplines. After assembling some illustrative examples, Downes demonstrates how models shed light on many perennial issues in philosophy of science and in philosophy in general. Reviewing the range of views on how models represent their targets introduces readers to the key issues in debates on representation, not only in science but in the arts as well. Also, standard epistemological questions are cast in new and interesting ways when readers confront the question, “What makes for a good (or bad) model?”…(More)’.