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Scientific representation: against similarity and isomorphism

Suárez, Mauricio (2003) Scientific representation: against similarity and isomorphism. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science, 17 (3). pp. 225-244. ISSN 0269-8595

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Identification Number: 10.1080/0269859032000169442


I argue against theories that attempt to reduce scientific representation to similarity or isomorphism. These reductive theories aim to radically naturalize the notion of representation, since they treat scientist's purposes and intentions as non-essential to representation. I distinguish between the means and the constituents of representation, and I argue that similarity and isomorphism are common but not universal means of representation. I then present four other arguments to show that similarity and isomorphism are not the constituents of scientific representation. I finish by looking at the prospects for weakened versions of these theories, and I argue that only those that abandon the aim to radically naturalize scientific representation are likely to be successful.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2003 Inter-University Foundation
Divisions: CPNSS
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Q Science > Q Science (General)
Date Deposited: 10 Mar 2011 16:02
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2024 00:54

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