Synthese

, Volume 190, Issue 2, pp 219–234 | Cite as

Epistemic representation, informativeness and the aim of faithful representation

Article

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

Models Representation Interpretation Surrogative reasoning Informativeness 

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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

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