Modeling without representation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


How can mathematical models which represent the causal structure of the world incompletely or incorrectly have any scientific value? I argue that this apparent puzzle is an artifact of a realist emphasis on representation in the philosophy of modeling. I offer an alternative, pragmatic methodology of modeling, inspired by classic papers by modelers themselves. The crux of the view is that models developed for purposes other than explanation may be justified without reference to their representational properties.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3611-3623
Issue number16
Early online date9 Nov 2012
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Modeling
  • Representation
  • Pragmatism


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