Lessons from Galileo: The pragmatic model of shared characteristics of scientific representation

Philosophia Naturalis 42 (2):213-234 (2005)
Abstract
In this paper I will defend a new account of scientific representation. I will begin by looking at the benefits and drawbacks of two recent accounts on scientific representation: Hughes’ DDI account and Suárez’ inferential account. Next I use some of Galileo’s models in the Discorsi as a heuristic tool for a better account of scientific representation. Next I will present my model. The main idea of my account, which I refer to as the pragmatic model of shared characteristics (PMSC), is that a model represents, if and only if, (1) a person accepts that there is a set of shared characteristics between the model and its target; (2) this set has the inferential power to generate results which can be tested empirically; (3) and the corresponding test(s) of these results is/are in agreement with our data and the specific cognitive goals we have in mind.
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Mathematical Formalisms in Scientific Practice: From Denotation to Model-Based Representation.Axel Gelfert - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 42 (2):272-286.

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