Biology and Philosophy
Author's Final Manuscript
This paper analyzes two ways idealized biological models produce factive scientific
understanding. I then argue that models can provide factive scientific understanding of a
phenomenon without providing an accurate representation of the (difference-making) features of
their real-world target system(s). My analysis of these cases also suggests that the debate over
scientific realism needs to investigate the factive scientific understanding produced by scientists’
use of idealized models rather than the accuracy of scientific models themselves.
Rice, Collin. 2016. "Factive Scientific Understanding Without Accurate Representation." Biology and Philosophy, 31.1: 81-102.