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Models and Fiction

Roman Frigg

London School of Economics

Synthese, Forthcoming

Most scientific models are not physical objects, and this raises important questions. What sort of entity are models, what is truth in a model, and how do we learn about models? In this paper I argue that models share important aspects in common with literary fiction, and that therefore theories of fiction can be brought to bear on these questions. In particular, I argue that the pretence theory as developed by Walton (1990) has the resources to answer these questions. I introduce this account, outline the answers that it offers, and develop a general picture of scientific modelling based on it.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 24

Keywords: model, fiction, Walton, make-believe, pretence - pretense, truth in fiction, semantic view of theories, structuralist view of models

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Date posted: May 12, 2008  

Suggested Citation

Frigg, Roman, Models and Fiction. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1128682

Contact Information

Roman Frigg (Contact Author)
London School of Economics ( email )
United Kingdom
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Download Rank: 234,183
References:  47
Citations:  1

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