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Models as Mediators : Perspectives on Natural and Social Science - Mary S. Morgan

Models as Mediators

Perspectives on Natural and Social Science

By: Mary S. Morgan (Editor), Margaret Morrison (Editor)

Hardcover Published: 1st April 2010
ISBN: 9780521650977
Number Of Pages: 420

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Models as Mediators discusses the ways in which models function in modern science, particularly in the fields of physics and economics. Models play a variety of roles in the sciences: they are used in the development, exploration and application of theories and in measurement methods. They also provide instruments for using scientific concepts and principles to intervene in the world. The editors provide a framework which covers the construction and function of scientific models, and explore the ways in which they enable us to learn about both theories and the world. The contributors to the volume offer their own individual theoretical perspectives to cover a wide range of examples of modelling, from physics, economics and chemistry. These papers provide ideal case-study material for understanding both the concepts and typical elements of modelling, using analytical approaches from the philosophy and history of science.

"This collection is a valuable addition to the growing literature on models... the reader will learn much from reading these essays." Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics "...describes how models in the sciences can act as automomous mediators between theory and the world, and uncovers the means by which models function as a source of knowledge." Journal of Economic Literature

List of contributors
Preface
Introductionp. 1
Models as mediating instrumentsp. 10
Models as autonomous agentsp. 38
Built-in justificationp. 66
The Ising model, computer simulation, and universal physicsp. 97
Techniques of modelling and paper-tools in classical chemistryp. 146
The role of models in the application of scientific theories: epistemological implicationsp. 168
Knife-edge caricature modelling: the case of Marx's Reproduction Schemap. 196
Models and the limits of theory: quantum Hamiltonians and the BCS models of superconductivityp. 241
Past measurements and future predictionp. 282
Models and stories in hadron physicsp. 326
Learning from modelsp. 347
Indexp. 389
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521650977
ISBN-10: 0521650976
Series: Ideas in Context
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 420
Published: 1st April 2010
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.8 x 15.2  x 2.7
Weight (kg): 0.79