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::: center home >> events >> lunchtime >> 2003-04 >> abstracts

Tuesday, 4 November 2003
Pictorial Evidence
Laura Perini, Virginia Tech, Philosophy
12:05 pm, 817R Cathedral of Learning

Abstract: Publications in contemporary science journals include graphs, diagrams, photographs, and results of imaging techniques like MRI. Such figures are often presented as support for the hypothesis the author is defending. Can a picture really play such an epistemic role? Philosophers of science, who usually think of evidential support in terms of relations among elements that either are linguistic representations or are linguistically expressible, seem to have assumed they cannot. Analysis of figures that starts from their nature as visual representations does not support this view, however. In this talk I will use an account of visual representation to clarify what visual representations can provide in terms of evidentiary support.

Revised 3/11/08 - Copyright 2006