Advertisement

The Problem of Representation and a Formal Solution

  • Majid Davoody Beni
Chapter
Part of the Studies in Brain and Mind book series (SIBM, volume 14)

Abstract

The chapter articulates weak and strong versions of the problem of representation. It also argues that enhancing the expressive power of logical systems does not result in a conclusive solution to the problem of representation. I examine structural realists’ reliance on ‘partial isomorphisms’ and ‘pragmatic truth’ to substantiate the message of this chapter. The message is that the set/model-theoretic framework cannot account for the biologically explicable relationship between the structure of the scientific theories and reality.

References

  1. Awodey, S., & Carus, A. (2001). Carnap, completeness, and categoricity: The gabelbarkeitssatz of 1928. Erkenntnis, 54(2), 145–172.  https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1005622201768. Kluwer Academic Publishers.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Awodey, S., & Carus, A. (2009). From Wittgenstein’s prison to the boundless ocean: Carnap’s dream of logical syntax. In P. Wagner (Ed.), Carnap’s logical syntax of language. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  3. Beni, M. D. (2015). On logic, syntax, and silence. Studies in Logic, Grammar and Rhetoric, 42(1), 195–209.  https://doi.org/10.1515/slgr-2015-0037.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bitbol, M., & Osnaghi, S. (2016). Bohr’s complementarity and Kant’s epistemology. In O. Darrigol, B. Duplantier, J. M. Raimond, & V. Rivasseau (Eds.), Niels Bohr, 1913–2013. Progress in mathematical physics (Vol. 68, pp. 199–221). Cham: Birkhäuser.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bueno, O., & French, S. (2011). How theories represent. The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 62(4), 857–894.  https://doi.org/10.1093/bjps/axr010. Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bueno, O., French, S., & Ladyman, J. (2002). On representing the relationship between the mathematical and the empirical. Philosophy of Science, 69, 497–518.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bueno, O., French, S., & Ladyman, J. (2012). Models and structures: Phenomenological and partial. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, 43(1), 43–46.  https://doi.org/10.1016/J.SHPSB.2011.12.001. Pergamon.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Carnap, R. (1934). The unity of science. London: K. Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., Ltd.Google Scholar
  9. Carnap, R. (1937). The logical syntax of language (Edited by A. Smeaton, Trans.). London: Kegan Paul Trench, Trubner & Co.Google Scholar
  10. Carnap, R. (1942). Introduction to semantics: And formalization of logic. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  11. da Costa, N. C. A., & French, S. (2003). Science and partial truth. Oxford: Oxford University Press.  https://doi.org/10.1093/019515651X.001.0001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. da Costa, N. C. A., Bueno, O., & French, S. (1998). The logic of pragmatic truth. Journal of Philosophical Logic, 27(6), 603–620.  https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1004304228785. Kluwer Academic Publishers.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Esfeld, M. (2012). Causal realism. In Probabilities, laws, and structures (pp. 157–168). Dordrecht: Springer.  https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-3030-4_11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Farr, M., & Reutlinger, A. (2013). A relic of a bygone age? Causation, time symmetry and the directionality argument. Erkenntnis, 78(S2), 215–235.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10670-013-9510-z. Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. French, S. (1997). Partiality, pursuit and practice. In Structures and norms in science (pp. 35–52). Dordrecht: Springer.  https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-0538-7_3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. French, S. (2003). A model-theoretic account of representation (or, I don’t know much about art…but I know it involves isomorphism). Philosophy of Science, 70(5), 1472–1483.  https://doi.org/10.1086/377423. The University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. French, S. (2006). Structure as a weapon of the realist. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society (Hardback), 106(1), 170–187.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9264.2006.00143.x. Blackwell Publishing Ltd.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. French, S. (2014). The structure of the world: Metaphysics and representation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.  https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199684847.001.0001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. French, S., & Saatsi, J. (2006). Realism about structure: The semantic view and nonlinguistic representations. Philosophy of Science, 73(5), 548–559.  https://doi.org/10.1086/518325. The University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Friedman, M. (1999). Reconsidering logical positivism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.  https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139173193.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Glymour, C. (2013). Theoretical equivalence and the semantic view of theories. Philosophy of Science, 80(2), 286–297.  https://doi.org/10.1086/670261.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Halvorson, H. (2012). What scientific theories could not be. Philosophy of Science, 79(2), 183–206.  https://doi.org/10.1086/664745.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Halvorson, H. (2013). The semantic view, if plausible, is syntactic. Philosophy of Science, 80(3), 475–478.  https://doi.org/10.1086/671077. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hodges, W. (1993). Model theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.  https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511551574.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Ladyman, J. (1998). What is structural realism? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A, 29(3), 409–424.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0039-3681(98)80129-5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Ladyman, J. (2007). On the identity and diversity of objects in a structure. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume, 81(1), 23–43.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8349.2007.00149.x. Blackwell Publishing Ltd.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Mikenberg, I., da Costa, N. C. A., & Chuaqui, R. (1986). Pragmatic truth and approximation to truth. The Journal of Symbolic Logic, 51(1), 201–221.  https://doi.org/10.2307/2273956.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Newman, M. H. A. (1928). Mr Russell’s causal theory of perception. Mind, XXXVII(146), 137–148.  https://doi.org/10.1093/mind/XXXVII.146.137.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Psillos, S. (2001). Is structural realism possible? Philosophy of Science, 68(S3), S13–S24.  https://doi.org/10.1086/392894.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Psillos, S. (2012). Adding modality to ontic structuralism: An exploration and critique. In Structural realism (pp. 169–185). Dordrecht: Springer.  https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-2579-9_9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Reutlinger, A. (2017). Are causal facts really explanatorily emergent? Ladyman and Ross on higher-level causal facts and renormalization group explanation. Synthese, 194(7), 2291–2305.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-014-0530-2. Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Russell, B. (1927). The analysis of matter. London: Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  33. Saatsi, J. (2017). Structuralism with and without causation. Synthese, 194(7), 2255–2271.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-014-0595-y. Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Schiemer, G. (2013). Carnap’s early semantics. Erkenntnis, 78(3), 487–522.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10670-012-9365-8. Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Suárez, M. (1999). Theories, models, and representations. In Model-based reasoning in scientific discovery (pp. 75–83). Boston: Springer.  https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4615-4813-3_5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Tarski, A. (1944). The semantic conception of truth: And the foundations of semantics. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 4(3), 341.  https://doi.org/10.2307/2102968.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Tarski, A. (1956). The concept of truth in formalized languages. Logic, Semantics, Metamathematics, 6(37), 1–3.  https://doi.org/10.2307/2022668.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. van Fraassen, B. C. (1980). The scientific image. Oxford: Oxford University Press.  https://doi.org/10.1093/0198244274.001.0001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. van Fraassen, B. C. (2008). Scientific representation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. van Fraassen, B. C. (2014). One or two gentle remarks about Hans Halvorson’s critique of the semantic view. Philosophy of Science, 81(2), 276–283.  https://doi.org/10.1086/675645. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Vickers, P. (2008). Bohr’s theory of the atom: Content, closure and consistency. Philsci. Archive. http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/4005/
  42. Wittgenstein, L. (1922). Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (Edited by C. K. Ogden, Trans.). London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  43. Wittgenstein, L., McGuinness, B., Seekircher, M., & Unterkircher, A. (1993). Wittgenstein: Gesamtbriefwechsel (Complete Correspondence). Innsbrucker Electronic Edition (2nd release) (Electronic ed.). Charlottesville: InteLex Corporation. https://catalyst.library.jhu.edu/catalog/bib_4137611.

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Majid Davoody Beni
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Management, Science, and TechnologyAmirkabir University of TechnologyTehranIran

Personalised recommendations