David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Biology and Philosophy 6 (2):181-203 (1991)
This paper raises the question of the prominence and use of statistical graphs in science, and argues that their use in problem solving analysis can best be understood in an ‘interactionist’ frame of analysis, including bio-emotion, culture, social organization, and environment as elements. The frame contrasts both with philosophical realism and with social constructivism, which posit two variables and one way causal flows. We next posit basic differences between visual, verbal, and numerical media of perception and communication. Graphs are thus seen as key interactive sites where different media are transformed into more interpretable forms. Examples are taken from Limnology where numbers are transformed into graphs to find patterns in them, and thus, by implication in the environmental materials from which the numerical measurements were taken. Their revisualization by passes a human cognitive limitation, for the direct analysis — interpretation of lists and tables of numbers, visual imaging being a cognitive strength. Sense of problem, conceptual repertoire, and social relations are seen to direct this pattern search and interpretive process.
|Keywords||Interactive mechanisms research practice statistical graphs visuals|
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References found in this work BETA
Ronald N. Giere (1991). Explaining Science: A Cognitive Approach. Philosophical Review 100 (4):653-656.
K. Knorr-Cetina (1981). The Manufacture of Knowledge: An Essay on the Constructivist and Contextual Nature of Science. Pergamon Press.
Bruno Latour & Steve Woolgar (1982). Laboratory Life. The Social Construction of Scientific Facts. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 13 (1):166-170.
B. Latour (1986). Visualization and Cognition: Thinking with Eyes and Hands. Knowledge and Society 6:1--40.
Michael Lynch (1988). The Externalized Retina: Selection and Mathematization in the Visual Documentation of Objects in the Life Sciences. [REVIEW] Human Studies 11 (2-3):201 - 234.
Citations of this work BETA
Lara Huber (2011). Norming Normality: On Scientific Fictions and Canonical Visualisations. Medicine Studies 3 (1):41-52.
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