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Developing Scaffolds in Evolution, Culture, and Cognition$
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Linnda R. Caporael, James R. Griesemer, and William C. Wimsatt

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780262019552

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262019552.001.0001

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Models as Scaffolds for Understanding

Models as Scaffolds for Understanding

(p.147) 6 Models as Scaffolds for Understanding
Developing Scaffolds in Evolution, Culture, and Cognition

Jeffrey C. Schank

Christopher J. May

Sanjay S. Joshi

The MIT Press

This chapter focuses on models as representations of physical animate systems that support our understanding of those systems. The use of scaffolding here differs in some important respects from its function in supporting a physical building or guiding education. Models as scaffolds for understanding may have to be torn down or altered depending on what the models produce and how they match the data. Unlike a building, which when constructed, provides its own support, our understanding cannot stand on its own and always requires scaffolding to hold it up.

Keywords:   Animal behaviour, Computational models, Data matching, Error diagnosis, False models, Mathematical models, Mechanism, Model phylogeny, Robotics, Robustness, Understanding

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