David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 26 (2):153-170 (2012)
There is currently a gap in our understanding of how figures produced by mechanical imaging techniques play evidential roles: several studies based on close examination of scientific practice show that imaging techniques do not yield data whose significance can simply be read off the image. If image-making technology is not a simple matter of nature re-presenting itself to us in a legible way, just how do the images produced provide support for scientific claims? In this article I will first show that there is a distinct question about the semiotics of mechanically produced images that has not yet been answered. I show that my account of visual representations can do so, and I argue that the role of convention involved in my account is compatible with the view that visual representations produced through mechanized imaging techniques can play genuine evidential roles in scientific reasoning
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