Philosophers have yet to provide a systematic analysis of the relationship between historical science and model-based science. In this paper I argue that prototypical model-based sciences exhibit features understood to be central to historical science. Philosophers of science have argued that historical scientists are distinctly concerned with inference to the best explanation, that explanations in historical science tend to increase in complexity over time, and that the explanations take the form of narratives. Using general circulation models in climate science as a reference, I illustrate how simulation models in model-based science share these features exhibited by historical science. That model based sciences share these features raises important philosophical questions about how we should understand prototypical types of scientific enquiry, including the relationship between experimental science, historical science, and model-based science. I conclude by exploring several options for how to accommodate the noted similarities within a more general taxonomy of the sciences.

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