PSA2016: The 25th Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association

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There Is a Special Problem of Scientific Representation

Callender and Cohen (2006) argue that there is no need for a special account of the constitution of scientific representation. I argue that scientific representation is communal and therefore deeply tied to the practice in which it is embedded. The communal nature is accounted for by licensing, the activities of scientific practice by which scientists establish a representation. A case study of the Lotka-Volterra model reveals how the licensure is a constitutive element of the representational relationship. Thus, any account of the constitution of scientific representation must account for licensing, meaning that there is a special problem of scientific representation.

Author Information:

Brandon Boesch    
Department of Philosophy
University of South Carolina


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