Synthese

, Volume 190, Issue 2, pp 219–234

Epistemic representation, informativeness and the aim of faithful representation

Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11229-012-0143-6

Cite this article as:
Bolinska, A. Synthese (2013) 190: 219. doi:10.1007/s11229-012-0143-6

Abstract

In this paper, I take scientific models to be epistemic representations of their target systems. I define an epistemic representation to be a tool for gaining information about its target system and argue that a vehicle’s capacity to provide specific information about its target system—its informativeness—is an essential feature of this kind of representation. I draw an analogy to our ordinary notion of interpretation to show that a user’s aim of faithfully representing the target system is necessary for securing this feature.

Keywords

ModelsRepresentationInterpretationSurrogative reasoningInformativeness

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and TechnologyUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada