Stephan Hartmann (MCMP/LMU Munich), "Understanding (With) Toy Models".
Toy models are highly idealised and extremely simple models. Although toy models are omnipresent across virtually all scientific disciplines, toy models are a surprisingly under-appreciated subject in philosophy of science. The main philosophical puzzle regarding toy models consists in that it is simply an unsettled question what the epistemic goal of toy modelling is. One interesting and promising proposal for answering this question is the claim that the primary function of toy models is to provide individual scientists with understanding. The aim of this paper is to precisely articulate and to defend this claim. The talk is based on joint work with Dominik Hangleitner and Alexander Reutlinger (MCMP/LMU Munich).