Models as Mediators: Perspectives on Natural and Social Science

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Overview

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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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"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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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521655712
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/2008
  • Series: Ideas in Context Series , #52
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 401
  • Sales rank: 1,489,550
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface; 1. Introduction Margaret Morrison and Mary S. Morgan; 2. Models as mediating instruments Margaret Morrison and Mary S. Morgan; 3. Models as autonomous agents Margaret Morrison; 4. Built-in justification Marcel Boumans; 5. The Ising model, computer simulation, and universal physics R. I. G. Hughes; 6. Techniques of modelling and paper-tools in classical chemistry Ursula Klein; 7. The role of models in the application of scientific theories: epistemological implications Mauricio Suarez; 8. Knife edge caricature modelling: the case of Marx's reproduction schema Geert Reuten; 9. Models and the limits of theory: quantum Hamiltonians and the BCS model of superconductivity Nancy Cartwright; 10. Past measurement and future prediction Adrienne van den Bogaard; 11. Models and stories in Hadron physics Stephan Hartmann; 12. Learning from models Mary S. Morgan.

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