Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

Models and fiction

Frigg, Roman (2010) Models and fiction. Synthese, 172 (2). pp. 251-268. ISSN 0039-7857

Full text not available from this repository.


Most scientific models are not physical objects, and this raises important questions. What sort of entity are models, what is truth in a model, and how do we learn about models? In this paper I argue that models share important aspects in common with literary fiction, and that therefore theories of fiction can be brought to bear on these questions. In particular, I argue that the pretence theory as developed by Walton (1990, Mimesis as make-believe: on the foundations of the representational arts. Harvard University Press, Cambridge/MA) has the resources to answer these questions. I introduce this account, outline the answers that it offers, and develop a general picture of scientific modelling based on it.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Library of Congress subject classification: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Q Science > Q Science (General)
Sets: Departments > Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
Research centres and groups > Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science (CPNSS)
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2010 16:37

Actions (login required)

Record administration - authorised staff only Record administration - authorised staff only