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Representation, Interpretation, and Surrogative Reasoning

Contessa, Gabriele (2007) Representation, Interpretation, and Surrogative Reasoning. [Preprint]


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In this paper, I develop Mauricio Suárez’s distinction between denotation, epistemic representation, and faithful epistemic representation. I then outline an interpretational account of epistemic representation, according to which a vehicle represents a target for a certain user if and only if the user adopts an interpretation of the vehicle in terms of the target, which would allow them to perform valid (but not necessarily sound) surrogative inferences from the model to the system. The main difference between the interpretational conception I defend here and Suárez’s inferential conception is that the interpretational account is a substantial account—interpretation is not just a “symptom” of representation; it is that in virtue of what something is an epistemic representation of a something else.

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Item Type: Preprint
Contessa, Gabriele
Additional Information: The final version of this paper will appear in Philosophy of Science.
Keywords: representation, models, interpretation, surrogative reasoning, Suarez, interpretational conception of scientific representation; inferential conception
Subjects: General Issues > Models and Idealization
Depositing User: Gabriele Contessa
Date Deposited: 11 Apr 2007
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 15:15
Item ID: 3291
Subjects: General Issues > Models and Idealization
Date: April 2007

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