Philosophy of Modeling: Neglected Pages of History
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Of the substantial work done in the philosophy of modeling by Vaihinger (1876), Craik (1943), Rosenblueth and Wiener (1945), Apostel (1960), Minsky (1965), Klaus (1966) and Stachowiak (1973), only Vaihinger’s work has gained some recognition in the mainstream literature. However, the work of all these thinkers seems to contain original ideas worth discussing. For example, the diverse functions of models in science can be better structured as follows: in fact, models perform only a single function – they are replacing their target systems but for different purposes. Or, the idea that all of cognition is cognition in models or by means of models: even perception can be best analyzed as modeling. Or, the idea that the possibility of modeling is built into the structure of the physical universe: it contains recurrent patterns that can play the roles of models and target systems. The paper presents an analysis of the above-mentioned neglected work.