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2 December 2021 - 2 December 2021

5:00PM - 7:00PM

Room tbc and Zoom

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This is the image alt text Molecule model

CHESS Seminar Series 2021/22: Walter Veit (The University of Sydney and LSE)

Model Eliminativism

Notable within the philosophical literature on models, modelling-practices, and model-based science has been the ongoing fragmentation of the field. Proposed typologies for the various kinds of models have become increasingly fine-grained and knowledge more localised within the contexts of specific disciplines, with the field sticking to fairly loose general views about the nature of models such as: 'models are representations' or 'models are tools'. I argue for a position that many participants in the debate will want to resist – model eliminativism. That is, as Feyerabend denied we can discover general rules about the scientific method applicable across all disciplines, so too will we be unable to do so for model-based science. The abundance of the term 'model' across science does not reflect any important epistemological similarities, but rather constitutes a sociological artefact, with only a very weak family resemblance between its uses. Thus, instead of trying to strike a balance between increasingly fine-grained analyses of models in science, and attempts to provide generalizable lessons about models, modelling-practices, and model-based science, I argue that within the philosophy of science we should eliminate the term from our vocabulary and fully embrace the plurality and contextual nature of scientific knowledge revealed by the practice turn.

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Meeting ID: 259 470 4557
Passcode: chess