Reflexive, Symmetric and Transitive Scientific Representations

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Yaghmaie, Aboutorab
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Theories of scientific representation, following Chakravartty's categorization, are divided into two groups. Whereas cognitive-functional views emphasize agents' intentions, informational theories stress the objective relation between represented and representing. In the first part, a modified structuralist theory is introduced that takes into account agents' intentions. The second part is devoted to dismissing a criticism against the structural account of representation on which similarity as the backbone of representation raises serious problems, since it has definite logical features, i.e. reflexivity, symmetry and transitivity, which representation lacks. Drawing on the representational relation between quantum and statistical field theories, I argue that scientific representation displays these logical features, although depending on the context they may be used or not.