Full Text

44. Models and Analogies

MARY HESSE


Subject Philosophy

Key-Topics modeling, science

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631230205.2001.00047.x


Extract

Questions about the structure and justification of theories, the interpretation of data, and the problem of realism have been in the forefront of debate in recent philosophy of science, and the topic of models and analogies is increasingly recognized as integral to this debate. Models of physical matter and motion - for example, models of atoms and planetary systems - were already familiar in Greek science, but serious analysis of “model” as a concept entered philosophy of science only in the nineteenth century. This was largely the result of proliferation in classical physics of theoretical entities such as “atom,” “electro-magnetic wave,” and “electron,” for which there appeared to be no directly observable evidence (see theoretical terms ). The senses of “model” discussed in classical physics were of two types, which may be distinguished as “material” and “formal” ( Hesse 1966 ). A material model is, or describes, a physical entity - familiar examples are billiard balls, a fluid medium, a spring, or an attracting or repelling electric particle. A formal model is the expression of the form or structure of physical entities and processes, without any semantic content referring to specific objects or properties. For example, a “wave equation” in mathematical symbols may express the laws of a simple pendulum, of sound or light waves, of quantum wave functions, etc., while remaining ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:

 

     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.


[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Reference Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top