British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
Author's Final Manuscript
Many (if not most) accounts of scientific modelling assume that models can be decomposed into the contributions made by their accurate and inaccurate parts. These accounts then argue that the inaccurate parts of the model can be justified by distorting only what is irrelevant. In this article, I argue that this decompositional strategy requires three assumptions that are not typically met by our best scientific models. In response, I propose an alternative view in which idealized models are characterized as holistically distorted representations that are justified by allowing for the application of various (mathematical) modelling techniques.
Rice, Collin. 2019. "Models Don’t Decompose That Way: A Holistic View of Idealized Models." British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70.1: 179-208.