The following papers have been accepted for presentation at AAP 2013. If you've just submitted an abstract, it may take a few days to appear.
|Name: Dr Arnon Levy|
|Institution: Van Leer Institute|
|Title: Model Organisms aren't Models|
|Abstract: Much biology studies a small class of species known as “model organisms”, such as E. coli, yeast and mice. I will argue that despite the epithet, model organisms are not models. In making this claim, I presuppose an understanding of models as vehicles for surrogative (or indirect) representation and reasoning: understanding one object by reasoning about a distinct object. Model organisms play a more empirical role. They are specimens that serve as bases for extrapolation. I will tackle two lines of thought that might lead one to think that model organisms are (surrogative) models. First, it may be supposed that assessments of model-target similarity play a key role in model organism based inferences. But I argue that the similarity in question is akin to statistical representativeness, and not to a comparison between two objects. Second, model organisms are seen as constructs, suggesting that they are somehow abstract or idealized. I will argue that the relevant sense of ‘construction’ does not license this thought.|
|Keywords: Model organisms, modeling, surrgative reasoning, similarity, extrapolation|