Journal for General Philosophy of Science

, Volume 50, Issue 2, pp 195–213 | Cite as

Resolving and Understanding Differences Between Agent-Based Accounts of Scientific Representation

  • Brandon BoeschEmail author


Agent-based accounts of scientific representation all agree that the representational relationship is constituted by the actions of scientists. Despite this agreement, there are several differences in how agent-based accounts describe scientific representation. In this essay, I argue that these differences do not undercut the compatibility between the accounts. I make my argument by examining the nature of human agency and demonstrating that scientific, representational actions are multiply describable. I then argue that the differences between the accounts are valuable because they help to bring different parts of the representational practices of science into greater focus.


Scientific representation Models Pragmatic Action Intention 



I am grateful to Tarja Knuuttila, Michael Dickson, Mauricio Suárez, Jennifer Frey, and two anonymous reviewers for helpful comments. I am grateful for helpful comments from audiences at the Three Rivers Philosophy Conference in 2015 and the South Carolina Society for Philosophy Conference in 2015, where earlier versions of this paper were presented.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of HumanitiesMorningside CollegeSioux CityUSA

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