Science and Fiction: Analysing the Concept of Fiction in Science and its Limits

Authors
Ann-Sophie Barwich
Columbia University
Abstract
A recent and growing discussion in philosophy addresses the construction of models and their use in scientific reasoning by comparison with fiction. This comparison helps to explore the problem of mediated observation and, hence, the lack of an unambiguous reference of representations. Examining the usefulness of the concept of fiction for a comparison with non-denoting elements in science, the aim of this paper is to present reasonable grounds for drawing a distinction between these two kinds of representation. In particular, my account will suggest a demarcation between fictional and non-fictional discourse as involving two different ways of interpreting representations. This demarcation, leading me to distinguish between fictional and non-fictional forms of enquiry, will provide a useful tool to explore to what extent the descriptions given by a model can be justified as making claims about the world and to what degree they are a consequence of the model’s particular construction
Keywords Fiction  Representation  Denoting  Reference  Philosophy of science
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Reprint years 2013
DOI 10.1007/s10838-013-9228-2
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How the Laws of Physics Lie.Nancy Cartwright - 1983 - Oxford University Press.

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