An agent-based conception of models and scientific representation

Synthese 172 (2):269–281 (2010)
I argue for an intentional conception of representation in science that requires bringing scientific agents and their intentions into the picture. So the formula is: Agents (1) intend; (2) to use model, M; (3) to represent a part of the world, W; (4) for some purpose, P. This conception legitimates using similarity as the basic relationship between models and the world. Moreover, since just about anything can be used to represent anything else, there can be no unified ontology of models. This whole approach is further supported by a brief exposition of some recent work in cognitive, or usage-based, linguistics. Finally, with all the above as background, I criticize the recently much discussed idea that claims involving scientific models are really fictions.
Keywords Agents  Cognitive linguistics  Fictions  Intentions  Models  Scientific representation
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DOI 10.2307/40496039
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Joel Katzav (2014). The Epistemology of Climate Models and Some of its Implications for Climate Science and the Philosophy of Science. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 46 (2):228-238.

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