An inferential conception of scientific representation

Philosophy of Science 71 (5):767-779 (2004)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

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.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 76,400

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Analytics

Added to PP
2009-01-28

Downloads
213 (#60,004)

6 months
14 (#70,372)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

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.
Scientific representation: Against similarity and isomorphism.Mauricio Suárez - 2003 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 17 (3):225-244.

View all 209 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

Languages of Art.Nelson Goodman - 1970 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 3 (1):62-63.
Unnatural Doubts.Michael Williams - 1994 - Noûs 28 (4):533-547.
Patterns of Intention: On the Historical Explanation of Pictures.Michael Baxandall - 1986 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 45 (1):94-95.
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.
Between the Absolute and the Arbitrary.Catherine Elgin - 1999 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 189 (2):237-238.

Add more references