David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Biology and Philosophy 6 (2):155-180 (1991)
Scientists use a variety of modes of representation in their work, but philosophers have studied mainly sentences expressing propositions. I ask whether diagrams are mere conveniences in expressing propositions or whether they are a distinct, ineliminable mode of representation in scientific texts. The case of path analysis, a statistical method for quantitatively assessing the relative degree of causal determination of variation as expressed in a causal path diagram, is discussed. Path analysis presents a worst case for arguments against eliminability since path diagrams are usually presumed to be mathematically or logically “equivalent” in an important sense to sets of linear path equations. I argue that path diagrams are strongly generative, i.e., that they add analytical power to path analysis beyond what is supplied by linear equations, and therefore that they are ineliminable in a strong scientific sense.
|Keywords||Path analysis regression scientific diagrams Sewall Wright statistics in biology|
No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Nancy Cartwright (1983). How the Laws of Physics Lie. Oxford University Press.
Nancy Cartwright (1989). Nature's Capacities and Their Measurement. Oxford University Press.
Pierre Maurice Marie Duhem (1954). The Aim and Structure of Physical Theory. Princeton, Princeton University Press.
Nelson Goodman (1968). Languages of Art. Bobbs-Merrill.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Peter Spirtes, Thomas Richardson, Chris Meek & Richard Scheines, Using Path Diagrams as a Structural Equation Modelling Tool.
Mark S. Peacock (2009). Path Dependence in the Production of Scientific Knowledge. Social Epistemology 23 (2):105 – 124.
W. Y. Evans-Wentz (1968). Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines. New York [Etc.],Oxford U.P..
Jessica Carter (2010). Diagrams and Proofs in Analysis. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 24 (1):1 – 14.
Paul Thagard (2002). Curing Cancer? Patrick Lee's Path to the Reovirus Treatment. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 16 (1):79 – 93.
Jean-Philippe Vergne & Rodolphe Durand (2010). The Missing Link Between the Theory and Empirics of Path Dependence: Conceptual Clarification, Testability Issue, Methodological Implications. Journal of Management Studies 47:736-759.
Brice Halimi (2012). Diagrams as Sketches. Synthese 186 (1):387-409.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads7 ( #198,752 of 1,142,994 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #140,193 of 1,142,994 )
How can I increase my downloads?