, Volume 70, Issue 1, pp 29-43

MISSing the World. Models as Isolations and Credible Surrogate Systems

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Abstract

This article shows how the MISS account of models—as isolations and surrogate systems—accommodates and elaborates Sugden’s account of models as credible worlds and Hausman’s account of models as explorations. Theoretical models typically isolate by means of idealization, and they are representatives of some target system, which prompts issues of resemblance between the two to arise. Models as representations are constrained both ontologically (by their targets) and pragmatically (by the purposes and audiences of the modeller), and these relations are coordinated by a model commentary. Surrogate models are often about single mechanisms. They are distinguishable from substitute models, which are examined without any concern about their connections with the target. Models as credible worlds are surrogate models that are believed to provide access to their targets on account of their credibility (of which a few senses are distinguished).