Symbol Systems as Collective Representational Resources: Mary Hesse, Nelson Goodman, and the Problem of Scientific Representation

Abstract

This short paper grew out of an observation—made in the course of a larger research project—of a surprising convergence between, on the one hand, certain themes in the work of Mary Hesse and Nelson Goodman in the 1950/60s and, on the other hand, recent work on the representational resources of science, in particular regarding model-based representation. The convergence between these more recent accounts of representation in science and the earlier proposals by Hesse and Goodman consists in the recognition that, in order to secure successful representation in science, collective representational resources must be available. Such resources may take the form of (amongst others) mathematical formalisms, diagrammatic methods, notational rules, or—in the case of material models—conventions regarding the use and manipulation of the constituent parts. More often than not, an abstract characterization of such resources tells only half the story, as they are constituted equally by the pattern of (practical and theoretical) activities—such as instances of manipulation or inference—of the researchers who deploy them. In other words, representational resources need to be sustained by a social practice; this is what renders them collective representational resources in the first place.

Download options

PhilArchive

External links

  • This entry has no external links. Add one.
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Analytics

Added to PP
2015-06-26

Downloads
263 (#42,954)

6 months
13 (#60,034)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Axel Gelfert
Technische Universität Berlin

References found in this work

The Extended Mind.Andy Clark & David J. Chalmers - 1998 - Analysis 58 (1):7-19.
Minds: Extended or Scaffolded? [REVIEW]Kim Sterelny - 2010 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 9 (4):465-481.
Modelling and Representing: An Artefactual Approach to Model-Based Representation.Tarja Knuuttila - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 42 (2):262-271.

View all 8 references / Add more references

Similar books and articles

Models as Make-Believe.Adam Toon - 2010 - In Roman Frigg & Matthew Hunter (eds.), Beyond Mimesis and Convention: Representation in Art and Science. Boston Studies in Philosophy of Science.
Using Goodman to Explore Historical Representation.Eugen Zeleňák - 2013 - Journal of the Philosophy of History 7 (3):371-395.
Misrepresentation in Context.Woosuk Park - 2014 - Foundations of Science 19 (4):363-374.
The Metaphorical Conception of Scientific Explanation: Rereading Mary Hesse. [REVIEW]Maria Rentetzi - 2005 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 36 (2):377 - 391.
The Naturalism of Pictorial Representation.Douglas John Dempster - 1983 - Dissertation, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Depiction and Convention.Ben Blumson - 2008 - Dialectica 62 (3):335-348.
Re-Inflating the Conception of Scientific Representation.Chuang Liu - 2015 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 29 (1):41-59.
Nelson Goodman's ‘Languages of Art’: A Study.Anthony Savile - 1971 - British Journal of Aesthetics 11 (1):3-27.
Analog Representations and Their Users.Matthew Katz - 2016 - Synthese 193 (3):851-871.