Representation and the imperfect ideal

Philosophy of Science 61 (3):407-28 (1994)

Authors
Charles Wallis
California State University, Long Beach
Abstract
This paper examines the nomic covariationist strategy of using idealization to define representation. While the literature has focused upon the possibility of defining ideal conditions for perception, I argue that nomic covariationist appeals to idealization are pseudoscientific and contrary to a foundational and empirically well-supported methodological presupposition in cognitive science. Moreover, one major figure in this camp fails to come to grips with its role and its problems in mainstream science. Thus he forwards a false dichotomy of the sciences and treats idealization as a blank check written by scientists on an unknown bank. Finally, I consider and reject alternative formulations of the nomic covariationist's idealization strategy
Keywords Cognition  Covariation  Physics  Representation  Science
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DOI 10.1086/289811
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Representationalism and Indeterminate Perceptual Content.John Dilworth - 2007 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 6 (3):369-387.
Abstraction and Unrealistic Assumptions in Economics∗.Steven Rappaport - 1996 - Journal of Economic Methodology 3 (2):215-236.
Asymmetric Dependence, Representation, and Cognitive Science.Charles Wallis - 1995 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 33 (3):373-401.

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