, Volume 196, Issue 11, pp 4605–4622 | Cite as

Constructing reality with models

  • Sim-Hui TeeEmail author


Scientific models are used to predict and understand the target phenomena in the reality. The kind of epistemic relationship between the model and the reality is always regarded by most of the philosophers as a representational one. I argue that, complementary to this representational role, some of the scientific models have a constructive role to play in altering and reconstructing the reality in a physical way. I hold that the idealized model assumptions and elements bestow the constructive force of a model on the reality. By recognizing the physical constructive force of some scientific models, the merit of these models could be judged by how successful they are in the reality construction, rather than by the traditional criterion of model-world representation.


Models Reality Constructive models Instruments Idealized model elements Idealization 



I would like to thank two anonymous reviewers for helpful comments and feedback.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Multimedia UniversityCyberjayaMalaysia

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