Authors: Falkenburg, Brigitte
Hartmann, Stephan
Title: Models, unification, and simulations: Margaret C. Morrison (1954–2021)
Language (ISO): en
Abstract: The philosophy of science community mourns the loss of Margaret Catherine Morrison, who passed away on January 9, 2021, after a long battle with cancer. Margie, as she was known to all who knew her, was highly regarded for her influential contributions to the philosophy of science, particularly her studies of the role of models and simulations in the natural and social sciences. These contributions made her a world-leading philosopher of science, instrumental in shifting philosophers' attention from the structure of scientific theories to the practice of science. Her sophisticated studies of the function of models in scientific practice drew on detailed knowledge of the theories and experiments of physics as well as the history of physics. In emphasizing the autonomy of scientific models and their interventional character, her insights had some affinity with Cartwright's and Hacking’s views on phenomenological laws, entity realism, the instrumentalist interpretation of scientific theories, and the disunity of science. But Morrison’s approach was distinguished by the conviction that the existence of unobservable entities cannot be defended independently of the theories that support their evidence, and that scientific practice cannot be adequately understood without examining the reasons for theory unification.
Issue Date: 2021-03-30
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