Scientific Representation and Theoretical Equivalence

Philosophy of Science 84 (5):982-995 (2017)
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In this article I connect two debates in the philosophy of science: the questions of scientific representation and both model and theoretical equivalence. I argue that by paying attention to how a model is used to draw inferences about its target system, we can define a notion of theoretical equivalence that turns on whether models license the same claims about the same target systems. I briefly consider the implications of this for two questions that have recently been discussed in the context of the formal philosophy of science.



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James Nguyen
Stockholm University

Citations of this work

What Theoretical Equivalence Could Not Be.Trevor Teitel - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (12):4119-4149.
The Non-equivalence of Einstein and Lorentz.Clara Bradley - 2021 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 72 (4):1039-1059.
It’s Not a Game: Accurate Representation with Toy Models.James Nguyen - 2020 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (3):1013-1041.
Part 2: Theoretical equivalence in physics.James Owen Weatherall - 2019 - Philosophy Compass 14 (5):e12591.

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References found in this work

Scientific Representation: Paradoxes of Perspective.Bas C. Van Fraassen - 2008 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press UK.
How models are used to represent reality.Ronald N. Giere - 2004 - Philosophy of Science 71 (5):742-752.
The World in the Model: How Economists Work and Think.Mary S. Morgan - 2012 - Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.

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