By Bas C. van Fraassen

ISBN-10: 0199278229

ISBN-13: 9780199278220

Bas C. van Fraassen offers an unique exploration of ways we signify the realm. technological know-how represents ordinary phenomena by way of theories, in addition to in lots of concrete methods by way of such skill as photographs, graphs, table-top types, and laptop simulations. Scientific Representation starts off with an inquiry into the character of illustration commonly, drawing on such various assets as Plato's dialogues, the advance of perspectival drawing within the Renaissance, and the geometric varieties of modelling in sleek physics. beginning with Mach's and Poincaré's analyses of dimension and the "problem of coordination," van Fraassen then provides a view of dimension results as representations. With admire to the theories of up to date technological know-how he defends an empiricist structuralist model of the "picture theory" of technology, via an inquiry into the paradoxes that got here to gentle in twentieth-century philosophies of technology. Van Fraassen concludes with an research of the complicated courting among visual appeal and fact within the clinical world-picture.

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Bas C. van Fraassen provides an unique exploration of ways we symbolize the area. technological know-how represents typical phenomena by way of theories, in addition to in lots of concrete methods through such skill as photographs, graphs, table-top versions, and laptop simulations. clinical illustration starts off with an inquiry into the character of illustration usually, drawing on such varied assets as Plato's dialogues, the improvement of perspectival drawing within the Renaissance, and the geometric kinds of modelling in glossy physics.

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Extra info for Scientific Representation: Paradoxes of Perspective

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The crucial difference—here we come to the second distinguishing point—appears when we notice that in picturing, the selection of one aspect may force the picture not to include certain others. There is first of all occlusion, which is closely related to perspective: to depict a situation from a given point entails that some objects will be in front of, and hence hide, certain other objects. Thus revealing what things are like from one angle is incompatible with simultaneously revealing the values of certain other parameters.

Representation by exemplification involves likeness, but much more than likeness. In these examples visual resemblance plays a role: in fact, the color swatch has the same color, and in that crucial respect resembles, the paint that it represents to the customer. 14 The relevant visual resemblance must be highlighted in some way in that context, so as to bestow that status—here we have strayed from semantics into pragmatics. But do not equate even this beautifully articulated relationship with picturing or imaging!

Perhaps it does. But the important point is that the form by itself cannot reveal this. For the assertion may be true still if it turns out that Mary Magdalene was not a real historical character. 27  ,   27 The ‘‘of’’ that marks the relation of representing object to what is represented is like the one familiar from Brentano’s characterization of mental acts as ‘directed’, intentional. Intentionality we also see in semantic discourse when we say that ‘‘Zeus’’ is the name of a god, for example.

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Scientific Representation: Paradoxes of Perspective by Bas C. van Fraassen


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