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 (3):241-257 (2012)
The similarity view of scientific representation has recently been subjected to strong criticism. Much of this criticism has been directed against a ?naive? similarity account, which tries to explain representation solely in terms of similarity between scientific models and the world. This article examines the more sophisticated account offered by the similarity view's leading proponent, Ronald Giere. In contrast to the naive account, Giere's account appeals to the role played by the scientists using a scientific model. A similar move is often made by defenders of resemblance theories of depiction, who invoke the role played by the artist, or by the viewers of a painting. In this article I look to debates over depiction to assess the difficulties facing those who wish to defend the similarity view of scientific representation. I then turn to examine Giere's account. Ultimately, I argue, this account is unsuccessful: while appealing to the role of scientists offers a promising way to defend the similarity view, Giere's own account does not capture what it is that scientists do when they use a model to represent the world
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References found in this work BETA
Kendall L. Walton (1990). Mimesis as Make-Believe: On the Foundations of the Representational Arts. Harvard University Press.
Bas C. Van Fraassen (1980). The Scientific Image. Oxford University Press.
Nelson Goodman (1968). Languages of Art. Bobbs-Merrill.
Ronald N. Giere (1999). Science Without Laws. University of Chicago Press.
Peter Godfrey-Smith (2006). The Strategy of Model-Based Science. Biology and Philosophy 21 (5):725-740.
Citations of this work BETA
Michael Poznic (forthcoming). Representation and Similarity: Suárez on Necessary and Sufficient Conditions of Scientific Representation. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie:1-17.
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