Philosophy of Science 72 (5):913-926 (2005)

Authors
Laura Perini
Pomona College
Abstract
Publications in contemporary science journals often include figures like graphs, diagrams, photographs, and MRIs, which are presented as support for the hypothesis the author is defending. As a first step to explaining how figures contribute to confirmation, I present an account of visual representation and use examples to show how the visual format is involved in the support those figures provide the authors’ conclusions. I then show that attempts to explain what figures contribute to scientific arguments without analyzing them as visual representations will not succeed.
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DOI 10.1086/508949
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