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Biology & Philosophy

, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 293–298 | Cite as

Models and experiments? An exploration

Review of Michael Weisberg’s Simulation and Similarity: Using Models to Understand the World, Oxford, 2013.
  • William C. WimsattEmail author
Book Review

Michael Weisberg has given us a lovely book on models. It has very broad coverage of issues intersecting the nature of models and their use, an extensive consideration of long ignored “concrete” models with a rich case study, a discussion and classification of the many diverse kinds of models, and a particularly groundbreaking and innovative discussion of similarity concerning how models relate to the world. Included are insightful discussions of increasingly used “agent based” models, and the conjoint use of multiple models in looking for robust results. Weisberg fills in some discussions with modeling and simulation results of his own.

In addition, he considers and critiques other recent competing views on models, including the increasingly popular “models as fictions” account. His discussion is clear and technically precise without being needlessly so, and his distinctions are useful. The scientist is more likely to recognize his objects than the semantic theorist, and that is how...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for the Philosophy of ScienceUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA
  2. 2.Conceptual and Historical Studies of ScienceUniversity of ChicagoChicagoUSA

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