Adam Toon
Abteilung Philosophie
Universität Bielefeld > Fakultät > Philosophie > Personen > Adam Toon

Dr Adam Toon

Department of Philosophy
University of Bielefeld
P.O. Box 100 131
33501 Bielefeld

Personal website: here

Office: T8-214
Tel.: +49 521 106-4597

Research interests:

My research focuses on epistemology and philosophy of science: I am interested in how scientists gain knowledge of the world and what the status of that knowledge is.

To address these topics, I draw on work in the history and sociology of science, as well as conducting my own empirical studies. I also make use of perspectives from other areas of philosophy, particularly philosophy of art and philosophy of mind.

My previous work has centred on the nature of scientific representation, particularly in scientific modelling. This work draws extensively on work in philosophy of art, especially debates over the nature of fiction and the ontology of fictional entities, pictorial representation and imagination in art.

My new project focuses on the nature of scientific reasoning, especially the role of the material and social context of scientific research. This project makes use of work in cognitive science and philosophy of mind, especially so-called distributed and situated cognition, as well as debates in social epistemology.


2012/13: 'Science and Values'

2011/12: 'Mind and Cognition', 'Knowledge and Mind'

2010/11: 'The Extended Mind', 'Pragmatism'

2009/10: 'Representation in Science and Art', 'Historical Epistemology'

Selected publications:


Toon, A. (2012) Models as Make-Believe: Imagination, Fiction and Scientific Representation (Palgrave Macmillan)

This book is part of the series New Directions in the Philosophy of Science (edited by Steven French) [Draft introduction] [Publisher's website] [Amazon]


Toon, A. (2012) "Similarity and Scientific Representation", International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 26: 241-257 [PDF] [DOI]

Toon, A. (2011) "Playing with Molecules", Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 42: 580-589 [PDF] [DOI]

Toon, A. (2010) "The Ontology of Theoretical Modelling: Models as Make-Believe", Synthese 172: 301-315 [PDF] [DOI]

Toon, A. (2010) "Models as Make-Believe", in Frigg, R. and Hunter, M. (eds.) Beyond Mimesis and Convention: Representation in Art and Science, Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science (Springer) [PDF] [DOI]


Toon, A. (2010) "Novel Approaches to Models", review of Suarez, M. (ed.) Fictions in Science (Routledge) Metascience [PDF] [DOI]

Brief CV:

2009- University of Bielefeld
Postdoctoral Researcher
2009 Oxford Brookes University
Associate Lecturer
2004-2008 King's College, University of Cambridge
PhD - 'Models as make-believe' (with Prof. Martin Kusch)
2003-2004 London School of Economics
MSc - Philosophy and History of Science
1999-2003 King's College, University of Cambridge
BA - Natural Sciences