Although maps by themselves are neither true nor false they allow their users

Although maps by themselves are neither true nor

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elements in case it misrepresents things in virtue of not obeying the rules outlaid. Although maps by themselves are neither true nor false, they allow their users to say something true or false about the world. If I take a look at a map of Rome, I could produce a lot of true sentences about Rome. A sentence as “Piazza della Rotunda is only 150 meters due east of Piazza Navona” would be such a true sentence, but if I say, because the map shows a sign of a post office at Piazza della Minerva , “There is a post office at Piazza della Minerva,” then it would be false what I am claiming. The same holds for models of science. Scientific models can also be accurate, adequate, and correct (in accordance to a stipulated convention), as well as inaccurate, inadequate, and incorrect. A scientific model is accurate, if it enables us to predict the observed data, and adequate if it helps us to produce an appropriate explanation of the phenomena in question. It is such explanations and predictions that are true or false, not the models themselves. Model-building starts out by laying down which real entities we are dealing with. At first the scientist faces some phenomena he wishes to explain and decides whether he can use a well-known standard model on his repertoire or should enlarge or correct the standard model or even perhaps go for a new model. Take a simple example as the behavior of a gas in a piston. This phenomenon is related to molecules. We have experimental methods to establish that gasses form a swarm of molecules moving around among each other. The second step is concerned with the supply of the right dynamical properties to these molecules. We know 4
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indeed that real molecules have many properties partly depending on their specific nature. But we are only interested in those properties which will be relevant for the causal description of the behavior of the gas when we know that it made up by molecules. These properties are mass, position, motion, and perhaps internal and external forces. What we have is the old experimental law of coexistence, PV = nRT , stating the function between pressure, volume, and temperature. What we need is a description of how the pressure, volume, and temperature are causally related to the behavior of the molecules. In order to make this task practicable, we set up a standard model in which the molecules do form an ideal gas which means that we represent the above properties of molecules by some abstract and idealized properties such as being completely elastic, mono-atomic point-masses. We can then apply the kinetic gas theory on this model and derive the Boyle’s law. Another example of model-making can be found in micro-economy. Here one operates with the concept of an idealized economical agent called homo oeconomicus . 2 This fictitious agent is attributed some very abstract and idealized properties that allows economics to describe his economical actions. First, he has a clear defined set of preferences; that is, he has a list of priorities of the possible results of the actions that are open to him. Second, he has a perfect knowledge of the possible actions and their consequences. And third, he is seen as
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