Biology and Philosophy 6 (2):205-226 (1991)

Sociologists, philosophers and historians of science are gradually recognizing the importance of visual representation. This is part of a more general movement away from a theory-centric view of science and towards an interest in practical aspects of observation and experimentation. Rather than treating science as a matter of demonstrating the logical connection between theoretical and empirical statements, an increasing number of investigations are examining how scientists compose and use diagrams, graphs, photographs, micrographs, maps, charts, and related visual displays. This paper focuses on diagrams in biology, and tries to demonstrate how diagrams are an integral part of the production of scientific knowledge. In order to disclose some of the distinctive practical and analytical uses of diagrams, the paper contrasts the way diagrams and photographs are used in biological texts. Both diagrams and photographs are shown to be “constructions” that separately and together mediate the investigation of scientific phenoman.
Keywords Diagrams  ethnomethodology  knowledge  photography  representation  science  sociology
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/BF02426838
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 70,163
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Philosophical Investigations.Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein - 1953 - New York, NY, USA: Wiley-Blackwell.

View all 47 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Image Interpretation: Bridging the Gap From Mechanically Produced Image to Representation.Laura Perini - 2012 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 26 (2):153-170.
Trust in Technicians in Paleontology Laboratories.Caitlin Donahue Wylie - 2018 - Science, Technology, and Human Values 43 (2):324-348.
When Physics and Biology Meet: The Nanoscale Case.Otávio Bueno - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 42 (2):180-189.

View all 14 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Diagrams as Sketches.Brice Halimi - 2012 - Synthese 186 (1):387-409.
Why Feynman Diagrams Represent.Letitia Meynell - 2008 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 22 (1):39 – 59.
Logical Reasoning with Diagrams.Gerard Allwein & Jon Barwise (eds.) - 1996 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Visualizations of the Square of Opposition.Peter Bernhard - 2008 - Logica Universalis 2 (1):31-41.
Peirce and the Logical Status of Diagrams.Sun-Joo Shin - 1994 - History and Philosophy of Logic 15 (1):45-68.


Added to PP index

Total views
102 ( #114,861 of 2,507,021 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #277,393 of 2,507,021 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes