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Fictions, Conditionals, and Stellar Astrophysics

Suárez, Mauricio (2013) Fictions, Conditionals, and Stellar Astrophysics. [Preprint]

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Abstract

This article argues in favour of an inferential role for fictions in scientific modelling. The argument proceeds by means of a detailed case study, namely models of the internal structure of stars in stellar astrophysics. The main assumptions in such models are described, and it is argued that they are best understood as useful fictions. The role that conditionals play in these models is explained, and it is argued that fictional assumptions play an important role as either background or antecedent conditions. I then expand on the argument for the compatibility of fictions and scientific realism. I argue that realism and antirealism plausibly offer correspondingly different accounts of the semantics of these fictional conditionals.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Suárez, Mauriciomsuarez@filos.ucm.es
Additional Information: Forthcoming in International Studies in the Philosophy of Science
Keywords: Scientific fictions, realism, stellar astrophysics, conditionals
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Cosmology
General Issues > Models and Idealization
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
General Issues > Theory/Observation
Depositing User: Mauricio Suárez
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2013 16:38
Last Modified: 11 Sep 2013 16:38
Item ID: 9993
Official URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/cisp20#.Ui9z_eAXeTg
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Cosmology
General Issues > Models and Idealization
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
General Issues > Theory/Observation
Date: 2013
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/9993

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