Bringing together diverse theoretical and empirical contributions from the fields of social and cognitive psychology, philosophy and science education, this volume explores representational pluralism as a phenomenon characteristic of human cognition.

Building on these disciplines’ shared interest in understanding human thought, perception and conceptual change, the volume illustrates how representational plurality can be conducive to research and practice in varied fields. Particular care is taken to emphasize points of convergence and the value of sharing discourses, models, justifications and theories of pluralism across disciplines. The editors give ample space for philosophers, cognitive scientists and educators to explicate the history and current status of representational pluralism in their own disciplines.

Using multiple forms of research from the relational perspective, this volume will be of interest to students, scholars and researchers with an interest in cognitive psychology, as well as educational psychology and philosophy of science.

section Section 1|59 pages


chapter 1|28 pages

Introduction to representational pluralism

ByMichel Bélanger, Patrice Potvin, Steven Horst, Eduardo F. Mortimer, Andrew Shtulman

chapter 2|29 pages

Bridging pluralisms

ByMichel Bélanger, Patrice Potvin

section Section 2|80 pages


chapter 3|18 pages

Satisfying epistemic and existential needs

Representational pluralism across scientific domains
ByJesse D. Peregrino, Cristine H. Legare

chapter 4|23 pages

Computational modeling of representational pluralism in explanations

ByScott Friedman, Micah Goldwater

chapter 5|18 pages

Representational pluralism in the service of learning

The case of thought experiments
ByIgor Bascandziev

chapter 6|19 pages

Navigating the conflict between science and intuition

ByAndrew Shtulman

section Section 3|80 pages

Science education

chapter 7|20 pages

From conceptual change to conceptual prevalence

What the acknowledgment of representational plurality could mean for science teaching
ByPatrice Potvin

chapter 8|18 pages

Examining evidence for the effects and antecedents of plurality in revising science misconceptions

ByGregory J. Trevors, Veronica Fleury, Panayiota Kendeou

chapter 9|20 pages

Heterogeneity and pluralism in science education from the perspective of conceptual profiles

ByCharbel N. El-Hani, Edenia Maria Ribeiro do Amaral, Eduardo F. Mortimer

chapter 10|20 pages

Unity in plurality

The emergence of pluralist expertise
ByMichel Bélanger

section Section 4|81 pages

Philosophy of science

chapter 11|9 pages

More than one right answer

An introduction to the varieties of pluralism1
ByStephen H. Kellert

chapter 12|18 pages

Rise and (impending) fall of physics fundamentalism

ByPaul Teller

chapter 13|20 pages

Dissipation, integration and practical pluralism

The case of cognitive science
ByRick Dale, Pablo Andrés Contreras Kallens

chapter 14|14 pages

Representational pluralism, realism and the prospects of integration

ByStéphanie Ruphy

chapter 15|18 pages

Why pluralism?

BySteven Horst