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Inducing visibility and visual deduction

Morgan, Mary S. (2020) Inducing visibility and visual deduction. East Asian Science, Technology and Society, 14 (2). 225–252. ISSN 1875-2160

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Identification Number: 10.1215/18752160-8538247


Scientists use diagrams not just to visualize objects and relations in their fields, both empirical and theoretical, but to reason with them as tools of their science. While the two dimensional space of diagrams might seem restrictive, scientific diagrams can depict many more than two elements, can be used to visualize the same materials in myriad different ways, and can be constructed in a considerable variety of forms. This article takes up two generic puzzles about 2D visualizations. First, How do scientists in different communities use 2D spaces to depict materials that are not fun-damentally spatial? This prompts the distinction between diagrams that operate in different kinds of spaces: real, ideal, and artificial. And second, How do diagrams, in these different usages of 2D space, support various kinds of visual reasoning that cross over between inductive and deductive? The argument links the representational form and content of a diagram (its vocabulary and grammar) with the kinds of infer-ential and manipulative reasoning that are afforded, and constrained, by scientists’ different usages of 2D space.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2010 National Science Council, Taiwan
Divisions: Economic History
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2019 16:09
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2024 03:12

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