Models and theories are of central importance in science, and scientists spend substantial amounts of time building, testing, comparing and revising models and theories. It is therefore not surprising that the nature of scientific models and theories has been a widely debated topic within the philosophy of science for many years.

The product of two decades of research, this book provides an accessible yet critical introduction to the debates about models and theories within analytical philosophy of science since the 1920s. Roman Frigg surveys and discusses key topics and questions, including:

  • What are theories? What are models? And how do models and theories relate to each other?
  • The linguistic view of theories (also known as the syntactic view of theories), covering different articulations of the view, its use of models, the theory-observation divide and the theory-ladenness of observation, and the meaning of theoretical terms.
  • The model-theoretical view of theories (also known as the semantic view of theories), covering its analysis of the model-world relationship, the internal structure of a theory, and the ontology of models.
  • Scientific representation, discussing analogy, idealisation and different accounts of representation.
  • Modelling in scientific practice, examining how models relate to theories and what models are, classifying different kinds of models, and investigating how robustness analysis, perspectivism, and approaches committed to uncertainty-management deal with multi-model situations.

Models and Theories is the first comprehensive book-length treatment of the topic, making it essential reading for advanced undergraduates, researchers, and professional philosophers working in philosophy of science and philosophy of technology. It will also be of interest to philosophically minded readers working in physics, computer sciences and STEM fields more broadly.

chapter |12 pages


Size: 0.30 MB

part |138 pages

Part I

chapter 1|31 pages

Theory and Language

Size: 0.55 MB

chapter 2|29 pages

Models in the Received View

Size: 0.67 MB

chapter 3|38 pages

Delineating the Observable

Size: 0.68 MB

chapter 4|38 pages

Framing the Theoretical

Size: 0.55 MB

part |109 pages

Part II

chapter 5|32 pages

Thinking Through Structures

Size: 0.55 MB

chapter 6|34 pages

Representing with Structures

Size: 0.60 MB

chapter 7|19 pages

Family Ties

Size: 0.51 MB

chapter 8|22 pages

Beyond Structures

Size: 0.43 MB

part |100 pages

Part III

chapter 9|26 pages

Reconsidering Representation

Size: 0.48 MB

chapter 10|23 pages


Size: 0.36 MB

chapter 11|21 pages

Abstraction, Approximation, Idealisation

Size: 0.48 MB

chapter 12|28 pages

Limit Idealisations and Factor Exclusions

Size: 0.94 MB

part |128 pages

Part IV

chapter 13|30 pages

Challenging Subordination

Size: 0.44 MB

chapter 14|37 pages

What are Models?

Size: 0.40 MB

chapter 15|34 pages

Taming Abundance

Size: 0.44 MB

chapter 16|25 pages

The Model Muddle

Size: 0.34 MB

chapter |3 pages


Size: 0.21 MB