Epistemic representation, informativeness and the aim of faithful representation

Synthese 190 (2):219-234 (2013)
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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.



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Agnes Bolinska
University of South Carolina

Citations of this work

The New Fiction View of Models.Fiora Salis - 2021 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 72 (3):717-742.
Scientific representation.Roman Frigg & James Nguyen - 2016 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Deflationary representation, inference, and practice.Mauricio Suárez - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 49 (C):36-47.
Software Intensive Science.John Symons & Jack Horner - 2014 - Philosophy and Technology 27 (3):461-477.

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References found in this work

How models are used to represent reality.Ronald N. Giere - 2004 - Philosophy of Science 71 (5):742-752.
Scientific representation: Against similarity and isomorphism.Mauricio Suárez - 2003 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 17 (3):225-244.

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