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 17 (3):225-244 (2003)
I argue against theories that attempt to reduce scientific representation to similarity or isomorphism. These reductive theories aim to radically naturalize the notion of representation, since they treat scientist's purposes and intentions as non-essential to representation. I distinguish between the means and the constituents of representation, and I argue that similarity and isomorphism are common but not universal means of representation. I then present four other arguments to show that similarity and isomorphism are not the constituents of scientific representation. I finish by looking at the prospects for weakened versions of these theories, and I argue that only those that abandon the aim to radically naturalize scientific representation are likely to be successful
|Keywords||Isomorphism Representation Science Similarity Structure|
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Citations of this work BETA
Roman Frigg & Ioannis Votsis (2011). Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Structural Realism but Were Afraid to Ask. European Journal for Philosophy of Science 1 (2):227-276.
James Ladyman, Otávio Bueno, Mauricio Suárez & Bas van Fraassen (2011). Scientific Representation: A Long Journey From Pragmatics to Pragmatics. [REVIEW] Metascience 20 (3):417-442.
Ronald Giere (2010). An Agent-Based Conception of Models and Scientific Representation. Synthese 172 (2):269–281.
Tarja Knuuttila (2011). Modelling and Representing: An Artefactual Approach to Model-Based Representation. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 42 (2):262-271.
Elaine Landry (2007). Shared Structure Need Not Be Shared Set-Structure. Synthese 158 (1):1 - 17.
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