Models, Representation, and Mediation

Philosophy of Science 72 (5):1260-1271 (2005)
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Abstract

Representation has been one of the main themes in the recent discussion of models. Several authors have argued for a pragmatic approach to representation that takes users and their interpretations into account. It appears to me, however, that this emphasis on representation places excessive limitations on our view of models and their epistemic value. Models should rather be thought of as epistemic artifacts through which we gain knowledge in diverse ways. Approaching models this way stresses their materiality and media-specificity. Focusing on models as multi-functional artifacts loosens them from any pre-established and fixed representational relationships and leads me to argue for a two-fold approach to representation.

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Tarja Knuuttila
University of Vienna

Citations of this work

Modelling and representing: An artefactual approach to model-based representation.Tarja Knuuttila - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 42 (2):262-271.
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.
The epistemic value of understanding.Henk W. de Regt - 2009 - Philosophy of Science 76 (5):585-597.

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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.
Models and Analogies in Science.Mary B. Hesse - 1966 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 3 (3):190-191.
Reinflating the semantic approach.Steven French & James Ladyman - 1999 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 13 (2):103 – 121.

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