Scientific Representation: Paradoxes of Perspective

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9780199278237: Scientific Representation: Paradoxes of Perspective

Bas C. van Fraassen presents an original exploration of how we represent the world. Science represents natural phenomena by means of theories, as well as in many concrete ways by such means as pictures, graphs, table-top models, and computer simulations. Scientific Representation begins with an inquiry into the nature of representation in general, drawing on such diverse sources as Plato's dialogues, the development of perspectival drawing in the Renaissance, and the geometric styles of modelling in modern physics. Starting with Mach's and Poincare's analyses of measurement and the 'problem of coordination', van Fraassen then presents a view of measurement outcomes as representations. With respect to the theories of contemporary science he defends an empiricist structuralist version of the 'picture theory' of science, through an inquiry into the paradoxes that came to light in twentieth-century philosophies of science. Van Fraassen concludes with an analysis of the complex relationship between appearance and reality in the scientific world-picture.

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About the Author:


Bas van Fraassen is McCosh Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at Princeton University and Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at San Francisco State University. His research interests straddle philosophical logic and philosophy of science, with special interests in empiricism, (anti-)realism, probability, foundations of relativity and quantum physics, and philosophy of literature. Born in the Netherlands, he studied and taught in Canada and thereafter in the USA; he is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Science and of the Netherlands Royal Academy of Sciences. Though concentrating on philosophy of science he makes occasional forays into philosophy of literature and the connections between art, literature, and science.

Review:


"In the space of a review of any substantial book it isn't possible to do more than gesture at possible replies. This is particularly so in a book of the scope and power of Scientific Representation. The argument is detailed and sophisticated. Realists have been given a great deal to overcome here." --Metaphilosophy


"Although Scientific Representation began life as a series of lectures, it is far more than that. Indeed, I regard it as the true successor to The Scientific Image, an even more mature exposition of an empiricist philosophy of science for a philosophical audience much broader than technical philosophers of science. It is a book rich in historical and contemporary insights which makes even greater breaks with the past than its influential predecessor. And the ever elegant style makes it a joy to read." --Ronald N. Giere, Philosophy of Science


"Since Representation is contemporary, varied, exciting, provocative, profound and (sometimes) sketchy [ ] and since Representation is very accessible [ ] it is an ideal book for stirring up discussion in a reading group as well as for introducing students to a host of topics in the philosophy of science that are currently discussed in journals and on conferences." --Fred Muller, Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics


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Bas C. van Fraassen
Verlag: Oxford University Press Jul 2010 (2010)
ISBN 10: 0199278237 ISBN 13: 9780199278237
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Buchbeschreibung Oxford University Press Jul 2010, 2010. Taschenbuch. Buchzustand: Neu. Neuware - Bas van Fraassen is McCosh Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at Princeton University and Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at San Francisco State University. His research interests straddle philosophical logic and philosophy of science, with special interests in empiricism, (anti-)realism, probability, foundations of relativity and quantum physics, and philosophy of literature. Born in the Netherlands, he studied and taught in Canada and thereafter in the USA; he 424 pp. Englisch. Artikel-Nr. 9780199278237

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