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Model organisms as scientific representations

Sartori, Lorenzo ORCID: 0000-0002-8457-7100 (2023) Model organisms as scientific representations. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science. ISSN 0007-0882 (In Press)

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Identification Number: 10.1086/728259


In this paper, I argue that model organisms (MOs) function as representations of other organisms, in the same way in which scientific models function as representations of their targets. This offers a response to the question of how we justify inferences from MOs to other biological systems. Building on Ankeny and Leonelli's (2020) account of MOs and drawing on the resources of the DEKI account of scientific representation (Frigg and Nguyen 2020), I argue that MO-based inferences are justified iff they exemplify properties that are translated into the ones imputed to the target system by an appropriate mapping function. Then, I defend this account against the charges of Levy and Currie (2015) and Weber (2004), who have proposed non-representational accounts of MOs.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2023 University of Chicago Press
Divisions: Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2023 09:12
Last Modified: 20 May 2024 10:18

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