Visual representations (photographs, diagrams, etc.) play crucial roles in scientific processes. They help, for example, to communicate research results and hypotheses to scientific peers as well as to the lay audience. In genuine research activities they are used as evidence or as surrogates for research objects which are otherwise cognitively inaccessible. Despite their important functional roles in scientific practices, philosophers of science have more or less neglected visual representations in their analyses of epistemic methods and tools of reasoning in science. This book is meant to fill this gap. It presents a detailed investigation into central conceptual issues and into the epistemology of visual representations in science.
Chapter 4 of this book are freely available as downloadable Open Access PDFs under a CC-BY 3.0 license. https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/tandfbis/rt-files/docs/Open+Access+Chapters/9781138089938_CCBYoachapter4.pdf