Biology & Philosophy

, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 299–310 | Cite as

Biology and Philosophy symposium on Simulation and Similarity: Using Models to Understand the World

Response to critics
  • Michael WeisbergEmail author
Book Symposium

Simulation and Similarity: Using Models to Understand the World is an account of modeling in contemporary science. Modeling is a form of surrogate reasoning where target systems in the natural world are studied using models, which are similar to these targets. My book develops an account of the nature of models, the practice of modeling, and the similarity relation that holds between models and their targets. I also analyze the conceptual tools that allow theorists to identify the trustworthy aspects of models. Taken as a whole, I try to account for the ways that modeling is actually practiced by theorists, while abstracting sufficiently to understand the similarities and differences among examples of concrete, mathematical, and computational modeling.

I am grateful to Wendy Parker, Jay Odenbaugh, and Bill Wimsatt for their careful and interesting reading of my book, as well as their constructive criticisms. Although I naturally disagree with some of their critiques, I have learned...



I am grateful to Shereen Chang, Devin Curry, Louise Daoust, Alkistis Elliott-Graves, Karen Kovaka, Dave McCandlish, Emily Parke, and Carlos Santana for a very stimulating discussion about the symposium papers and about what I might say in response.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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