De Bianchi, Silvia (2011) The aims of representative practices: Symmetry as a case-study. In:  3rd Biennial Conference of the Society for Philosophy of Science in Practice (June 22-24, 2011; Exeter, UK).
By exploring the nature of scientific representative practices, I shall define a methodology that relates the use of symmetry to specific practical functions. In order to expound this approach, I shall investigate the role played by the conception of symmetry in representative practices from a philosophical and epistemological perspective. The paper proceeds as follows. In the first part, I introduce the reasons why our conception of representative practices should consider the aims and the objectives towards which they direct their interest. Secondly, by using symmetry as a case study, I try to show that philosophy can find fruitful pathways of interaction with sciences, as it is the case when it deals with the practical implications of the employment of symmetry in modeling. In the third section of the paper I shall refer to other examples that highlight the use of symmetry in scientific representative practices. I shall conclude with some remarks on the implications that this approach involves in epistemology, especially on our conception of objectivity and symmetry.
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