The Relation Between Scientific Models and Their Targets: Report on the “Representation in Science” Workshop

  • Aldo FilomenoEmail author

In studying scientific method, one issue of interest to philosophers of science is the representation of reality by scientific models. Broadly, this forms but one part of the debate in the history of philosophy on the relationship between concepts and their objects, rendering the specific relation between scientific representations and reality a case study especially interesting to those who deem scientific activity a privileged source of knowledge.

For instance, one key question addressed is, “In virtue of what is there representation between scientific sources and their targets?” (Callender and Cohen 2005, 68). Some philosophers argue that there is a structural identity or a relation of similarity which guarantees a correct representation, a position that dates back to Plato’s Republic, today defended by, for example, Giere ( 2004); yet others argue, for instance, that they possess no more than a pragmatic relationship (Suárez 2003, 2015). For introductions to these debates, see...



I would like to thank Martin Zach for helpful comments and the organization of the workshop.


This work was supported by the grant “Formal Epistemology: Future Synthesis”, in the framework of the program Praemium Academicum of the Czech Academy of Sciences.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto de FilosofíaPontificia Universidad Católica de ValparaísoValparaísoChile
  2. 2.Institute of Philosophy, Center for Formal EpistemologyCzech Academy of SciencesPragueCzech Republic

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