Models as Mediators: Perspectives on Natural and Social Science (Ideas in Context)

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9780521655712: Models as Mediators: Perspectives on Natural and Social Science (Ideas in Context)

Models as Mediators discusses the ways in which models function in modern science, particularly in the fields of physics and economics. Models play a variety of roles in the sciences: they are used in the development, exploration and application of theories and in measurement methods. They also provide a mechanism for using scientific concepts and principles to intervene in the world. The editors provide a framework that covers the construction and function of scientific models, and explore the ways in which they enable us to learn about both theories and the world. The contributors to the volume offer their own individual theoretical perspectives and cover a wide range of examples of modeling. These papers provide ideal case study material for exploring both the concepts and typical elements of modeling methods, using analytical approaches from the domains of philosophy and history of science.

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Book Description:

Models as Mediators discusses the ways in which models are used in modern science and eleven case studies analyse important modelling examples from the history of physics and economics. These models may be mathematical or diagrammatic or actual physical objects, and they are used by scientists to facilitate understanding both of theories and the world. The book fills a prominent gap in the philosophy of science literature by focussing on several aspects of modelling including such topics as function and construction of different types of models in different fields.

Review:

"This collection is a valuable addition to the growing literature on models.... the reader will learn much from reading these essays." Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics

"...describes how models in the sciences can act as automomous mediators between theory and the world, and uncovers the means by which models function as a source of knowledge." Journal of Economic Literature

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