Re-inflating the Conception of Scientific Representation

Chuang Liu
University of Florida
This article argues for an anti-deflationist view of scientific representation. Our discussion begins with an analysis of the recent Callender–Cohen deflationary view on scientific representation. We then argue that there are at least two radically different ways in which a thing can be represented: one is purely symbolic, and therefore conventional, and the other is epistemic. The failure to recognize that scientific models are epistemic vehicles rather than symbolic ones has led to the mistaken view that whatever distinguishes scientific models from other representational vehicles must merely be a matter of pragmatics. It is then argued that even though epistemic vehicles also contain conventional elements, they do their job of demonstration in spite of such elements.
Keywords scientific representation  models  deflationism  symbols
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Reprint years 2014, 2015
DOI 10.1080/02698595.2014.979671
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References found in this work BETA

The Contents of Visual Experience.Susannah Siegel - 2010 - Oxford University Press USA.
The Scientific Image.Michael Friedman - 1982 - Journal of Philosophy 79 (5):274-283.
The Scientific Image.William Demopoulos & Bas C. van Fraassen - 1982 - Philosophical Review 91 (4):603.

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Perspectival Realism and Norms of Scientific Representation.Quentin Ruyant - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10 (2):1-17.
Against the New Fictionalism: A Hybrid View of Scientific Models.Chuang Liu - 2016 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 30 (1):39-54.

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