The picturability of micro-entities

Philosophy of Science 40 (2):234-241 (1973)
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In Patterns of Discovery, [1], and Concept of the Positron, [2], the late N. R. Hanson put forward an intersting and, I believe, essentially sound argument to the effect that, necessarily, micro-entities are "unpicturable." Hanson's claim is centrally a claim about microreduction, but his use of the term 'unpicturable' may be misleading, generating critiques which overplay its implications and its importance. A. M. Paul, in a recent article, [4], has taken Hanson to task in this regard, claiming that the notion of picturability is so cloudy as to render Hanson's whole enterprise unconvincing. In what follows I shall critically discuss Hanson's argument and Paul's analysis and attempt to state a version of it capable of meeting Paul's objections. I will claim that Hanson's use of the term 'unpicturable' may be, at worst, infelicitous, and that his thesis concerning micro- or property-reduction remains unaffected by questions concerning what we can or cannot picture



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Citations of this work

Micro-particles and picturability: A reply.Stephen J. Noren - 1978 - Philosophy of Science 45 (3):484-487.
Are micro-entities picturable?T. R. Girill - 1976 - Philosophy of Science 43 (4):570-574.

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References found in this work

Patterns of Discovery.Norwood R. Hanson, A. D. Ritchie & Henryk Mehlberg - 1960 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 10 (40):346-349.
Hanson on the unpicturability of micro-entities.Anthony M. Paul - 1971 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 22 (1):50-53.

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