Modeling, Truth, and Philosophy


Department of Philosophy

University of California at Davis

1 Shields Ave.

Davis, CA 95616



Knowledge requires truth, and truth, we suppose, involves unflawed representation. Science does not provide knowledge in this sense but rather provides models, representations that are limited in their accuracy, precision, or, most often, both. Truth as we usually think of it is an idealization, one that serves wonderfully in most ordinary applications, but one that can terribly mislead for certain issues in philosophy. This article sketches how this happens for five important issues, thereby showing how philosophical method must take into account the idealized nature of our familiar conception of truth.