An inferential conception of scientific representation

Philosophy of Science 71 (5):767-779 (2004)
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This paper defends an inferential conception of scientific representation. It approaches the notion of representation in a deflationary spirit, and minimally characterizes the concept as it appears in science by means of two necessary conditions: its essential directionality and its capacity to allow surrogate reasoning and inference. The conception is defended by showing that it successfully meets the objections that make its competitors, such as isomorphism and similarity, untenable. In addition the inferential conception captures the objectivity of the cognitive representations used by science, it sheds light on their truth and completeness, and it explains the source of the analogy between scientific and artistic modes of representation.



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Mauricio Suárez
Complutense University of Madrid

Citations of this work

Who is a Modeler?Michael Weisberg - 2007 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 58 (2):207-233.
Modelling and representing: An artefactual approach to model-based representation.Tarja Knuuttila - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 42 (2):262-271.

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References found in this work

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Languages of Art.Nelson Goodman - 1970 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 3 (1):62-63.
Unnatural Doubts.Michael Williams - 1994 - Noûs 28 (4):533-547.
The Principles of Mechanics Presented in a New Form.Heinrich Hertz, D. E. Jones & J. T. Walley - 1957 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 8 (31):257-258.
Patterns of Intention: On the Historical Explanation of Pictures.Michael Baxandall - 1986 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 45 (1):94-95.

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