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Defending the Structural Concept of Representation

Bartels, Andreas (2006) Defending the Structural Concept of Representation. THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science, 21 (1). pp. 7-19. ISSN 2171-679X

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The aim of this paper is to defend the structural concept of representation, as defined by homomor-phisms, against its main objections, namely: logical objections, the objection from misrepresentation, the objection from failing necessity, and the copy theory objection. The logical objections can be met by re-serving the relation ‘to be homomorphic to’ for the explication of potential representation (or, of the representational content). Actual reference objects (‘targets’) of representations are determined by (intentional or causal) representational mechanisms. Appealing to the independence of the dimensions of ‘content’ and ‘target’ also helps to see how the structural concept can cope with misrepresentation. Finally, I argue that homomorphic representations are not necessarily ‘copies’ of their representanda, and thus can convey scientific insight.

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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Additional Information: ISSN: 0495-4548 (print)
Keywords: (structural concept of) representation, homomorphism, content
Depositing User: Users 15304 not found.
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2014 17:18
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2014 17:18
Item ID: 10461
Journal or Publication Title: THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science
Publisher: Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea / Universidad del País Vasco
Official URL:
DOI or Unique Handle:
Date: January 2006
Page Range: pp. 7-19
Volume: 21
Number: 1
ISSN: 2171-679X

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