'Of Water Drops and Atomic Nuclei: Analogies and Pursuit Worthiness in Science'
Nyrup, Rune https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9880-6912
This paper highlights a use of analogies in science that so far has received relatively little systematic discussion: providing reasons for pursuing a model or theory. Using the development of the liquid drop model as a test case, I critically assess two extant pursuit worthiness accounts: (i) that analogies justify pursuit by supporting plausibility arguments and (ii) that analogies can serve as a guide to potential theoretical unification. Neither of these fit the liquid drop model case. Instead, I develop an alternative account, based on the idea that analogies facilitate the transfer of a well-understood modelling strategy to a new domain.
Online Publication Date
5003 Philosophy, 50 Philosophy and Religious Studies, 5002 History and Philosophy Of Specific Fields
British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
University of Chicago Press
Leverhulme Trust (RC-2015-067)
Leverhulme Trust Research Centre Grant (awarded to the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence)