An agent-based conception of models and scientific representation

Synthese 172 (2):269–281 (2009)
Abstract
I argue for an intentional conception of representation in science that requires bringing scientific agents and their intentions into the picture. So the formula is: Agents (1) intend; (2) to use model, M; (3) to represent a part of the world, W; (4) for some purpose, P. This conception legitimates using similarity as the basic relationship between models and the world. Moreover, since just about anything can be used to represent anything else, there can be no unified ontology of models. This whole approach is further supported by a brief exposition of some recent work in cognitive, or usage-based, linguistics. Finally, with all the above as background, I criticize the recently much discussed idea that claims involving scientific models are really fictions.
Keywords Agents  Cognitive linguistics  Fictions  Intentions  Models  Scientific representation
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-009-9506-z
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References found in this work BETA
Categories and Concepts.Edward E. Smith & L. Douglas - 1981 - Harvard University Press.
Scientific Perspectivism.Ronald N. Giere - 2006 - University of Chicago Press.
Science Without Laws.Ronald N. Giere - 1999 - University of Chicago Press.

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Citations of this work BETA
Modelling and Representing: An Artefactual Approach to Model-Based Representation.Tarja Knuuttila - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 42 (2):262-271.
Scientific Representation.Mauricio Suárez - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (1):91-101.
The Epistemology of Climate Models and Some of its Implications for Climate Science and the Philosophy of Science.Joel Katzav - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 46 (2):228-238.
Varieties of Noise: Analogical Reasoning in Synthetic Biology.Tarja Knuuttila & Andrea Loettgers - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 48:76-88.
How Do Models Give Us Knowledge? The Case of Carnot's Ideal Heat Engine.Tarja Knuuttila & Mieke Boon - 2011 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 1 (3):309-334.

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