de Regt, Henk W. (2006) Modelling Molecules: Beyond the Epistemic-Pragmatic Dichotomy. In:  Philosophy of Science Assoc. 20th Biennial Mtg (Vancouver) > PSA 2006 Contributed Papers.
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I argue that scientific explanation has a pragmatic dimension that is epistemically relevant. Philosophers with an objectivist approach to scientific explanation (e.g. Hempel, Trout) hold that the pragmatic aspects of explanation do not have any epistemic import. I argue against this view by focusing on the role of models in scientific explanation. Applying recent accounts of modelling (Cartwright, Morgan and Morrison) to a case-study of nineteenth-century physics, I analyse the pragmatic dimension of the process of model construction. I highlight the crucial roles that conceptual tools, skills, and commitments play in this dimension, and show how they contribute to the epistemic aim of science.
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|Item Type:||Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)|
|Keywords:||models, explanation, kinetic theory, Maxwell, Boltzmann|
|Subjects:||General Issues > Models and Idealization|
General Issues > Explanation
Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
|Conferences and Volumes:|| Philosophy of Science Assoc. 20th Biennial Mtg (Vancouver) > PSA 2006 Contributed Papers|
|Depositing User:||Henk W. de Regt|
|Date Deposited:||18 Oct 2006|
|Last Modified:||07 Oct 2010 11:14|
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