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Re: [ontolog-forum] confused and confounded models

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Smith, Barry" <phismith@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 16 Jul 2007 11:23:56 +0200
Message-id: <20070716093504.4AA971095AC@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

><JA wrote>
>In any empirical subject, whether studied by "common sense" means
>(i.e., unaided sense organs) or by "scientific methods" (i.e.,
>sense organs enhanced by instrumentation and experimental methods),
>the predictions are
>   (a) always about the subject matter (i.e., some aspect of reality),
>   (b) but derived by means of models, paradigms, and methodologies,
>   (c) and inevitably fallible, but more or less dependable depending
>       on the similarity of the new case with the range of previously
>       observed and analyzed cases.
>In short, the statement is *about* reality, but derived by *means*
>of models, and with an estimated certainty or probability that
>depends on the available data and the depth of analysis.
BS responded:
I think we are getting closer to a sensible view here. The statements 
of the theory (including the predictions) are about the subject 
matter, i.e. entities in reality (a). They are derived in various 
ways, sometimes by means of models (b); but many senses of the term 
'model' are such that the models of a theory come after the theory 
(this is so for the sense of the term 'model' used by model theorists 
doing set-theoretic semantics). (c) is, I hope, obvious to all.    (01)

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