How fictional accounts can explain

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In this note, I comment on Reiss’s paper ‘The explanation paradox’. I argue in support of two of the propositions that make up the paradox (that economic models are false, and that they are explanatory) but challenge the third proposition, that only true accounts can explain. I defend the ‘credible worlds’ account of models as fictions that are explanatory by virtue of similarity relations with real-world phenomena. I argue that Reiss’s objections to the role of subjective similarity judgements in explanation illegitimately presuppose the existence of rational criteria by which science can certify the objective validity of its explanations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-243
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Economic Methodology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 23 Sep 2013

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