Truth-bearers or truth-makers?

Spontaneous Generations 6 (1):142-147 (2012)
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One way visual representations might function in scientific reasoning is to convey content that is true or false, analogous to making a claim. An alternative way that visual representations might function is as an object that may make statements true or false, but is not itself true or false, analogous to a scientific model. In this paper I evaluate the most recent and extended defense of this latter position and show that the case study involved does not in fact support the view that the diagrams discussed function as truth-makers rather than truth bearers



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Laura Perini
Pomona College

Citations of this work

Spot the difference: Causal contrasts in scientific diagrams.Raphael Scholl - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 60:77-87.
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Visual Metaphors in the Sciences: The Case of Epigenetic Landscape Images.Jan Baedke & Tobias Schöttler - 2017 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 48 (2):173-194.

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References found in this work

Scientific perspectivism.Ronald N. Giere - 2006 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
The Truth in Pictures.Laura Perini - 2005 - Philosophy of Science 72 (1):262-285.
Models and the Semantic View.Martin Thomson-Jones - 2006 - Philosophy of Science 73 (5):524-535.
Why feynman diagrams represent.Letitia Meynell - 2008 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 22 (1):39 – 59.
Visual representations in science.William Goodwin - 2009 - Philosophy of Science 76 (3):372-390.

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