Representing with Physical Models

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Giere, Ronald
preprint description
Physical models have long been used to represent a great many things. By and large, however, the representational powers of physical models have been taken for granted in recent philosophy of science. Interest has focused on more ubiquitous and seemingly more important theoretical models, particularly those found in mathematical physics. In this paper, I focus on physical models, comparing them with theoretical models and finally with recently popular computational models. My aim is to show that the representational aspects of models used in science are fundamentally the same across all three categories of models.