Michela Massimi: Exploratory models, laws and modality

Michela Massimi (Edinburgh)
2:30-4:30pm Thursday April 18; CUNY Graduate Center (365 5th Ave, NYC), room 5307.

Title: Exploratory models, laws and modality.

Abstract: I analyse the exploratory function of two main modelling practices: targetless fictional models and hypothetical perspectival models. In both cases, I argue, modelers invite us to imagine or conceive something about the target system, which is either known to be non-existent (fictional models) or just hypothetical (in perspectival models). I clarify the kind of imagining or conceiving involved in each modelling practice, and I show how each—in its own right—delivers important modal knowledge. I illustrate these two kinds of exploratory models with Maxwell’s ether model and SUSY models at the LHC.

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