•  445
    Kuhn, conceptual change, and cognitive science
    In Tom Nickles (ed.), Thomas Kuhn, Cambridge University Press. pp. 179-211. 2003.
  •  221
    Computational systems biologists create and manipulate computational models of biological systems, but they do not always have straightforward epistemic access to the content and behavioural profile of such models because of their length, coding idiosyncrasies, and formal complexity. This creates difficulties both for modellers in their research groups and for their bioscience collaborators who rely on these models. In this paper we introduce a new kind of visualization that was developed to add…Read more
  •  177
    Mind and Society 2 (2): 29-32. 2001.
  •  119
    There is substantial evidence that traditional instructional methods have not been successful in helping students to restructure their commonsense conceptions and learn the conceptual structures of scientific theories. This paper argues that the nature of the changes and the kinds of reasoning required in a major conceptual restructuring of a representation of a domain are fundamentally the same in the discovery and in the learning processes. Understanding conceptual change as it occurs in scien…Read more
  •  104
    Thought Experimenting as Mental Modeling
    Croatian Journal of Philosophy 7 (2): 125-161. 2007.
    The paper argues that the practice of thought experintenting enables scientists to follow through the implications of a way of representing nature by simulating an exemplary or representative situation that is feasible within that representation. What distinguishes thought experimenting from logical argument and other forms of propositional reasoning is that reasoning by means of a thought experiment involves constructing and simulating a mental model of a representative situation. Although thou…Read more
  •  86
    Visual models in analogical problem solving
    with Jim Davies and Ashok K. Goel
    Foundations of Science 10 (1): 133-152. 2005.
    Visual analogy is believed to be important in human problem solving. Yet, there are few computational models of visual analogy. In this paper, we present a preliminary computational model of visual analogy in problem solving. The model is instantiated in a computer program, called Galatea, which uses a language for representing and transferring visual information called Privlan. We describe how the computational model can account for a small slice of a cognitive-historical analysis of Maxwell’s …Read more
  •  83
    Philosophy of and as interdisciplinarity
    with Michael Hg Hoffmann and Jan C. Schmidt
    Synthese 190 (11): 1857-1864. 2013.
  •  78
    Model‐Based Reasoning in Distributed Cognitive Systems
    Philosophy of Science 73 (5): 699-709. 2006.
    This paper examines the nature of model-based reasoning in the interplay between theory and experiment in the context of biomedical engineering research laboratories, where problem solving involves using physical models. These "model systems" are sites of experimentation where in vitro models are used to screen, control, and simulate specific aspects of in vivo phenomena. As with all models, simulation devices are idealized representations, but they are also systems themselves, possessing engine…Read more
  •  64
    Model-Based Reasoning in Scientific Discovery (edited book)
    with L. Magnani and P. Thagard
    Kluwer/Plenum. 1999.
    The book Model-Based Reasoning in Scientific Discovery, aims to explain how specific modeling practices employed by scientists are productive methods of ...
  •  63
    The roots of epistemological 'anarchy'
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 22 (1-4). 1979.
    The claims of the epistemological 'anarchists' have their roots in the orthodox tradition as well as in the Popperian. In particular they follow from the work of Quine. Meaning variance and incommensurability follow directly from the holistic conception of meaning in his 'network' view. Quine's efforts to evade this conclusion fail. His attempt to develop a theory-neutral notion of observation sentence is shown (1) to be inconsistent with his previous claims since it involves the tacit acceptanc…Read more
  •  62
  •  62
    The cognitive basis of model-based reasoning in science
    In Peter Carruthers, Stephen Stich & Michael Siegal (eds.), The Cognitive Basis of Science, Cambridge University Press. pp. 133--153. 2002.
  •  61
    Creating Scientific Concepts
    MIT Press. 2008.
    How do novel scientific concepts arise? In Creating Scientific Concepts, Nancy Nersessian seeks to answer this central but virtually unasked question in the problem of conceptual change. She argues that the popular image of novel concepts and profound insight bursting forth in a blinding flash of inspiration is mistaken. Instead, novel concepts are shown to arise out of the interplay of three factors: an attempt to solve specific problems; the use of conceptual, analytical, and material resource…Read more
  •  61
    Erratum to: Philosophy of and as interdisciplinarity (review)
    with Michael H. G. Hoffmann and Jan C. Schmidt
    Synthese 190 (11): 1975-1975. 2013.
  •  56
  •  54
    In the Theoretician's Laboratory: Thought Experimenting as Mental Modeling
    PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1992. 1992.
    Thought experiments have played a prominent role in numerous cases of conceptual change in science. I propose that research in cognitive psychology into the role of mental modeling in narrative comprehension can illuminate how and why thought experiments work. In thought experimenting a scientist constructs and manipulates a mental simulation of the experimental situation. During this process, she makes use of inferencing mechanisms, existing representations, and general world knowledge to make …Read more
  •  51
    The distribution of representation
    with Lisa M. Osbeck
    Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 36 (2). 2006.
  •  50
    Diversity as Asset
    with Andrea Bender and Sieghard Beller
    Topics in Cognitive Science 7 (4): 677-688. 2015.
    We begin our commentary by summarizing the commonalities and differences in cognitive phenomena across cultures, as found by the seven papers of this topic. We then assess the commonalities and differences in how our various authors have approached the study of cognitive diversity, and speculate on the need for, and potential of, cross-disciplinary collaboration
  •  48
    Reasoning from Imagery and Analogy in Scientific Concept Formation
    PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1988. 1988.
    Concept formation in science is a reasoned process, commensurate with ordinary problem-solving processes. An account of how analogical reasoning and reasoning from imagistic representations generate new scientific concepts is presented. The account derives from case studies of concept formation in science and from computational theories of analogical problem solving in cognitive science. Concept formation by analogy is seen to be a process of increasing abstraction from existing conceptual struc…Read more
  •  46
    Coupling simulation and experiment: The bimodal strategy in integrative systems biology
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4a): 572-584. 2013.
    The importation of computational methods into biology is generating novel methodological strategies for managing complexity which philosophers are only just starting to explore and elaborate. This paper aims to enrich our understanding of methodology in integrative systems biology, which is developing novel epistemic and cognitive strategies for managing complex problem-solving tasks. We illustrate this through developing a case study of a bimodal researcher from our ethnographic investigation o…Read more
  •  46
    Why is 'incommensurability' a problem?
    Acta Biotheoretica 31 (4): 205-218. 1982.
    The origins of the ‘ incommensurability problem’ and its central aspect, the ‘ meaning variance thesis’ are traced to the successive collapse of several distinctions maintained by the standard empiricist account of meaning in scientific theories. The crucial distinction is that between a conceptual structure and a theory. The ‘thesis’ and the ‘problem’ follow from critiques of this distinction by Duhem, Quine and Feyerabend. It is maintained that, rather than revealing the ‘problem’, the argumen…Read more
  •  42
    Abstraction via generic modeling in concept formation in science
    Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities 86 (1): 117-144. 2005.
    Cases where analogy has played a significant role in the formation of a new scientific concept are well-documented. Yet, how is it that genuinely new representations can be constructed from existing representations? It is argued that the process of ‘generic modeling’ enables abstraction of features common to both the domain of the source of the analogy and of the target phenomena. The analysis focuses on James Clerk Maxwell's construction of the electromagnetic field concept. The mathematica…Read more
  •  42
    Aether/Or: The Creation of Scientific Concepts
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 15 (3): 175. 1984.
  •  42
    Concept formation and commensurability
    In Paul Hoyningen-Huene & Howard Sankey (eds.), Incommensurability and Related Matters, Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 275--301. 2001.