From Mindless Modeling to Scientific Models

The Case of Emerging Models
  • Tommaso Bertolotti
Part of the Studies in Applied Philosophy, Epistemology and Rational Ethics book series (SAPERE, volume 2)


This paper aims at contributing to the ongoing epistemological debate on the nature of models by proposing an excursus from emerging to scientific modeling that will highlight the similarities between the two forms: this analysis will also allow to focus on the development of those traits that are instead typical of scientific models. The analysis of basic forms of modeling will to show how even mindless processing of external reality does not provide passive descriptions but is rather a poietic aggression which constitutes external reality as the organism perceives it. In my argument I will make apparent how this poietic character is indeed common to both emerging and scientific modeling. My final contention will be that scientific endeavor, captured within Magnani’s notion of epistemic warfare, is not characterized by a dramatic qualitative difference in the nature of models at play, but by a new conception and attitude displayed by scientists in their used of models, also coupled with the other fundamental scientific tool: the experiment.


Target System External Reality Concrete System Abductive Inference Mathematical Abstraction 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Arts and Humanities, Philosophy Section and Computational Philosophy LaboratoryUniversity of PaviaPaviaItaly

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