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The Means-End Account of Scientific, Representational Actions

Boesch, Brandon (2017) The Means-End Account of Scientific, Representational Actions. [Preprint]

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Abstract

While many recent accounts of scientific representation have given a central role to the agency and intentions of scientists in explaining representation, they have left these agential concepts unanalyzed. An account of scientific, representational actions will be a useful piece in offering a more complete account of the practice of representation in science. Drawing on an Anscombean approach to the nature of intentional actions, the Means-End Account of Scientific, Representational Actions describes three features of scientific, representational actions: (I) the final description in the means-end ordering of descriptions is some scientific aim; (II) that interaction with a vehicle distinct from its target stands as an earlier description which is ordered toward the final description as means to end; and (III) the means-end structure is licensed by scientific practice. After describing each of the components of the Means-End Account in greater detail through the example of the representational use of a mathematical model, I explain how it can demarcate scientific, representational actions from other sorts of actions. I close by describing some payoffs of the account, showing how it contributes to a more thorough understanding of the practice of representation in science and how it can be of use in understanding the close connection between representation and other forms of scientific activity.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Boesch, Brandonboeschb@gmail.com0000-0002-6092-1333
Keywords: Scientific Representation, Actions, Practice, Models, Pragmatic, Licensing, Means, Ends
Subjects: General Issues > Models and Idealization
Depositing User: Brandon Boesch
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2019 15:13
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2019 15:13
Item ID: 15695
Official URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11229-0...
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1007/s11229-017-1537-2
Subjects: General Issues > Models and Idealization
Date: August 2017
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/15695

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