Modeling Cognition: How Fiction Relates to Fact


The increasing use of computational modeling and simulation methods offers interesting epistemic and theoretical challenges for the philosophy of science. One of the main questions discussed in the philosophical literature relates to the explanatory role of false, unrealistic and sometimes even fictional models. In this paper we argue that (i) some fictional models can offer explanations known as structural model explanations, and (ii) at least some variants of realism, such as the information semantic account of scientific models, can consistently hold that this subset of fictional models are explanatory.

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