Synthese

, Volume 192, Issue 11, pp 3463–3485 | Cite as

Scientific misrepresentation and guides to ontology: the need for representational code and contents

Article

Abstract

In this paper I show how certain requirements must be set on any tenable account of scientific representation, such as the requirement allowing for misrepresentation. I then continue to argue that two leading accounts of scientific representation—the inferential account and the interpretational account—are flawed for they do not satisfy such requirements. Through such criticism, and drawing on an analogy from non-scientific representation, I also sketch the outline of a superior account. In particular, I propose to take epistemic representations to be intentional objects that come with reference, semantic contents and a representational code, and I identify faithful representations as representations that act as guides to ontology.

Keywords

Representation Methodology Ontological guides Surrogative reasoning Phase transitions Intentionality 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of History and Philosophy of ScienceUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

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