MODEL (Concept of) 2)3)
The concept of model has been widely discussed by a number of prominent systemists. Here are some relevant comments:
1. by John WARFIELD (1987, p.229)
"I believe that the word "system" should be reserved for something that is "out there", and the word "model" should be used for whatever human constructions we happen to use as a surrogate for the system. Another advantage of this is that the concept of system always remains open to amendments as more is learned, which is an inherent requirement for scientific advance. And the amendment can be made to the model as required.
"Even the word "model" has been co-opted in effect by people who insist on underconceptualizing it to the point where many people interpret the term to be congruent with a set of differential equations or their quantized surrogate, instead of its more general interpretations as a human construct applied to describe some phenomenon."
2. The same point is made by D. MEADOWS et al: "All human decisions are based on generalizations or abstractions about the world, or models. Most of these models exist only in people's heads. We call them mental models… complex, shifting and often unverbalized" (1982, p.XIX).
3. For V. TURCHIN a model is basically a "generator of predictions": "Informally, a model of a process is another process which somehow mimics, or simulates, the primary process; thus by using a model it becomes possible to know something about the modeled process without actually running it, or predict developments before they actually happen" (1993, p.6)… which is all right, provided the model is razonably accurate… and not too cumbersome.
In other words, let us not confuse some of the numerous specific, and quite restricted type of models with the general concept of model. See in this sense the taxonomy of models established by P. VOLTES BOU and B. WALLISER. (hereafter)
- 1) General information
- 2) Methodology or model
- 3) Epistemology, ontology and semantics
- 4) Human sciences
- 5) Discipline oriented
To cite this page, please use the following information:
Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]
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