Scientific Representation, Denotation, and Fictional Entities

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Suárez, Mauricio
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preprint description
I critically review RIG Hughes’ Denotation-Demonstration-Interpretation account of scientific representation, focusing in particular on the representation of fictional entities in science. I find the original account lacking, but argue that it can be extended in suitable ways. In particular I argue that an extension of this account that weakens the denotation and interpretation conditions can accommodate fictions. This extension also reveals the essential deflationary nature of scientific representation, by bringing into relief the functional roles of denotation and interpretation.