Theories as Representations

Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities 61:39 - 87 (1997)
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Abstract

In this paper we argue for the thesis that theories are to be considered as representations. The term "representation" is used in a sense inspired by its mathematical meaning. Our main thesis asserts that theories of empirical theories can be conceived as geometrical representations. This idea may be traced back to Galileo. The geometric format of empirical theories should not be simply considered as a clever device for displaying a theory. Rather, the geometrical character deeply influences the theory s ontology. We argue that it would be desastrous for philosophy if it followed Rorty s "neo-pragmatic" proposal to discard the concept of representation from philosophical discourse.

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Thomas Mormann
Ludwig Maximilians Universit√§t, M√ľnchen (PhD)

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