Martin Zach

Philosopher of Science


My name is Martin Zach and I am a philosopher of science (PhD student) at the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Faculty of Arts, Charles University (Prague, Czech Republic).

As of February 2019, I am employed at a research position at the Department of Analytic Philosophy, Institute of Philosophy, Czech Academy of Sciences.

From August to November 2018 I was a research visitor at the Centre for Philosophy of Social Science (TINT) at University of Helsinki.

From September to December 2017 I was a research visitor at the Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science (CPNSS) at London School of Economics.

In my thesis, titled “Models and Modeling in the Biomedical Sciences” I focus on several aspects of scientific modeling. I provide an overview and characterization of numerous modeling techniques and argue for a more encompassing version of pluralism with respect to the nature of scientific modeling. A major concern to me is the nature of various simplifying assumptions used in model-building, as well as its connection to scientific representation.

In the second part of my thesis I apply the results from the more theoretically oriented first part to selected cases in biomedicine, with a particular focus on the current modeling practices in immunology. There, I focus on the motivations and practices behind developing new strains of animal models (e.g., used for developing and testing new immunotherapeutic drugs), as well as on the epistemic merits and limits of other sorts of modeling strategies.

My advisors are prof. Ladislav Kvasz (Czech Academy) and prof. Roman Frigg (LSE).

I am also interested in various other topics such as the debates on mechanisms, scientific understanding or naturalism and scientism (see here). I have published papers on scientific realism.

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