Models, Representation, and Mediation

Philosophy of Science 72 (5):1260-1271 (2005)
Representation has been one of the main themes in the recent discussion of models. Several authors have argued for a pragmatic approach to representation that takes users and their interpretations into account. It appears to me, however, that this emphasis on representation places excessive limitations on our view of models and their epistemic value. Models should rather be thought of as epistemic artifacts through which we gain knowledge in diverse ways. Approaching models this way stresses their materiality and media-specificity. Focusing on models as multi-functional artifacts loosens them from any pre-established and fixed representational relationships and leads me to argue for a two-fold approach to representation.
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DOI 10.1086/508124
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