Models, Pictures, and Unified Accounts of Representation: Lessons from Aesthetics for Philosophy of Science

Perspectives on Science 17 (4):417-428 (2009)
Abstract
Several prominent philosophers of science, most notably Ron Giere, propose that scientific theories are collections of models and that models represent the objects of scientific study. Some, including Giere, argue that models represent in the same way that pictures represent. Aestheticians have brought the picturing relation under intense scrutiny and presented important arguments against the tenability of particular accounts of picturing. Many of these arguments from aesthetics can be used against accounts of representation in philosophy of science. I rely on Dominic Lopes' recent summary of arguments against various views of picturing and reformulate some of them to fit the philosophy of science context. My specific targets here are Giere and Steven French. I go on to argue that assuming all scientific models and images represent in the same way is not the best guide to understanding scientific practice
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References found in this work BETA
Steven French & James Ladyman (1999). Reinflating the Semantic Approach. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 13 (2):103 – 121.

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Citations of this work BETA
Stephen M. Downes (2011). Scientific Models. Philosophy Compass 6 (11):757-764.
Adam Toon (2012). Similarity and Scientific Representation. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 26 (3):241-257.
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