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Of Rabbits and Men

Frigg, Roman and Salis, Fiora (2020) Of Rabbits and Men. Fictionalism in Philosophy.


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According to the fiction view of models, scientific models are akin to places and characters in literary fiction. The chapter introduces this view and develops a specific version of the view based on the pretense account of fiction. It then turns to the question of how models represent their targets and formulates an account of representation based on the notions of denotation, exemplification, keying up, and imputation. The notion of denotation, it is argued, is usually borrowed from language and so an account of scientific representation can pursue a reductive strategy as regards denotation. Finally, it is pointed out that the fiction view of models in no way implies that models promulgate falsities and that the fiction therefore does not undermine the authority of science.

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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Keywords: fiction, scientific model, scientific representation, denotation, make-believe, pretense, exemplification, imagination
Subjects: General Issues > Models and Idealization
General Issues > Thought Experiments
Depositing User: Roman Frigg
Date Deposited: 18 Jul 2022 19:53
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2022 19:53
Item ID: 20928
Journal or Publication Title: Fictionalism in Philosophy
Publisher: Oxford UP
Official URL:
DOI or Unique Handle: ISBN: 9780190689605
Subjects: General Issues > Models and Idealization
General Issues > Thought Experiments
Date: 2020

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