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Ilkka Niiniluoto

), From Instrumentalism to Constructive Realism , Kluwer, Dordrecht. Lange, Marc (2015), “On ‘Minimal Model Explanations’: A Reply to Batterman and Rice”, Philosophy of Science 82, 292–305. Liu, Chang (1999), “Approximation, Idealization, and Laws of Nature”, Synthese 118, 229–256. Mäki, Uskali (1994), “Isolation, Idealization and Truth in Economics”, in Bert Hamminga and Neil De Marchi (eds.), Idealization in Economics , Rodopi, Amsterdam, 147–168. Mäki, Uskali (2009), “MISSing the World: Models as Isolations and Credible Surrogate Systems

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Friedel Weinert


This paper critically analyzes the fiction-view of scientific modeling, which exploits presumed analogies between literary fiction and model building in science. The basic idea is that in both fiction and scientific modeling fictional worlds are created. The paper argues that the fiction-view comes closest to certain scientific thought experiments, especially those involving demons in science and to literary movements like naturalism. But the paper concludes that the dissimilarities prevail over the similarities. The fiction-view fails to do justice to the plurality of model types used in science; it fails to realize that a function like idealization only makes sense in science because models, unlike works of fiction, can be de-idealized; it fails to distinguish sufficiently between the make-believe (fictional) worlds created in fiction and the hypothetical (as-if) worlds envisaged in models. Representation characterized in the fiction-view as a license to draw inferences does not sufficiently distinguish between inferences in fiction from inferences in scientific modeling. To highlight the contrast the paper proposes to explicate representation in terms of satisfaction of constraints.

Open access

Matthieu Gallais

References Currie, G., 1990, The Nature of Fiction , Cambridge University Press. Frigg, R., 2010a, “Models and Fiction”, Synthese 172(2), 251–268. Frigg, R., 2010b, “Fiction in Science”, in Woods, J. (ed.): Fictions and Models: New Essays , Munich, Philosophia Verlag, 247–287. Held, C., 2009, “When Does a Scientific Theory Describe Reality?” in Suárez, M. (ed.): Fictions in Science: Philosophical Essays on Modeling and Idealization , Taylor & Francis, 139-157. Hintikka, J., 1969, Models for Modalities , Reidel, Dordrecht