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Iconic representations and representative practices

Ambrosio, C; (2014) Iconic representations and representative practices. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science , 28 (3) 255 - 275. 10.1080/02698595.2014.959831. Green open access

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I develop an account of scientific representations building on Charles S. Peirce's rich, and still underexplored, notion of iconicity. Iconic representations occupy a central place in Peirce's philosophy, in his innovative approach to logic and in his practice as a scientist. Starting from a discussion of Peirce's approach to diagrams, I claim that Peirce's own representations are in line with his formulation of iconicity, and that they are more broadly connected to the pragmatist philosophy he developed in parallel with his scientific work. I then defend the contemporary relevance of Peirce's approach to iconic representations, and specifically argue that Peirce offers a useful third way between what Mauricio Suárez has recently described as the analytical and practical inquiries into the concept of representation. As a philosophically minded scientist and an experimentally inclined philosopher, Peirce never divorced the practice of representing from questions about what counts as a representation. I claim that his account of iconic representations shows that it is the very process of representing, construed as a practice which is coextensive with observing and experimenting, that casts light on the nature of representative relations.

Type: Article
Title: Iconic representations and representative practices
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/02698595.2014.959831
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02698595.2014.959831
Language: English
Additional information: © 2014 The Author(s). Published by Taylor & Francis. This is an Open Access article. Non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly attributed, cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way, is permitted. The moral rights of the named author(s) have been asserted. Permission is granted subject to the terms of the License under which the work was published. Please check the License conditions for the work which you wish to reuse. Full and appropriate attribution must be given. This permission does not cover any third party copyrighted material which may appear in the work requested.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Science and Technology Studies
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1430959
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