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An Agent-Based Conception of Models and Scientific Representation

Giere, Ronald N (2008) An Agent-Based Conception of Models and Scientific Representation. [Preprint]

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Beginning with hierarchical view of theories and models, I argue for an intentional conception of representation in science that requires bringing scientific agents and their intentions into the picture. So the formula is: Agents 1) intend; 2) to use model, M; 3) to represent a part of the world, W; 4) for some purpose, P. This conception legitimates using similarity as the basic relationship between models and the world. This whole approach is further supported by a brief exposition of some recent work in cognitive, or usage-based, linguistics. Finally, with all the above as background, I examine the recently much discussed idea that abstract scientific models should be thought of as fictional entities.

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Item Type: Preprint
Giere, Ronald N
Keywords: Theories, Models, Representation in Science,cognitive linguistics, fictions
Subjects: General Issues > Structure of Theories
Depositing User: Ronald N Giere
Date Deposited: 29 Sep 2008
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 15:17
Item ID: 4211

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