Schedule of Readings

A copy of the course policies can be found here.

I.              Similarity
1 9/11 Frigg & Nguyen, “Scientific Representation.” Only read the introduction and Section 1, “Problems concerning scientific representation.”

Giere, Scientific Perspectivism, Chapters 1-2. (Go to Readings)


2 9/18 NOTE: We will meet at 12:30 in the Proctor Lounge to discuss the following:

Nolt, Informal Logic

Argument Reconstruction Tutorial


Giere, Scientific Perspectivism, Chapters 3-5. (Go to Readings)


3 9/25 NOTE: We will meet at 12:30 in the Proctor Lounge to discuss the following:

Blueprints for Papers


Frigg & Nguyen, “Scientific Representation.” Only read Section 3, “The Similarity Conception”

Chakravartty, A. “Perspectivism, inconsistent models, and contrastive explanation

Massimi, M. “Scientific perspectivism and its foes


II.            Structuralism
4 10/2 Paper 1, Draft 1 due.

Frigg & Nguyen, “Scientific Representation.” Only read Section 4, “The Structuralist Conception.”

Suarez, “Scientific representation: against similarity and isomorphism

French, “A Model‐Theoretic Account of Representation (Or, I Don’t Know Much about Art…but I Know It Involves Isomorphism)


5 10/9 Bas C. van Fraassen, (2010) “Summary,” Analysis 70: 511-514.

Gabriele Contessa, (2010) “Empiricist Structuralism, Metaphysical Realism, and the Bridging Problem“, Analysis 70: 514-524

Michel Ghins, (2010) “Bas van Fraassen on Scientific Representation“, Analysis 70: 524-536

Richard Healey, (2010) “Science without Representation“, Analysis 70: 536-547

Bas C. van Fraassen, (2010) “Reply to Contessa, Ghins, and Healey“, Analysis 70: 547-556.

Carlo Gabbani, (2010) “The Subject of Scientific Representation,” Iris, 2: 245-252. and Marc Lange, (2010) “Structuralism with an empiricist face?” Iris, 2: 252-256.


6 10/16 Paper 1, FINAL Draft due.

Metascience 20 (2011) 417-442. “Scientific Representation: A long journey from pragmatics to pragmatics“. James Ladyman, Otavio Bueno, Mauricio Suarez, with Reply by Bas van Fraassen.


7 10/23 (2010) Philosophical Studies 150 (3): Symposium on Scientific Representation.

Bas C. van Fraassen, “Precis of Scientific Representation,” pp. 425-428.

Gordon Belot, “Transcendental idealism among the Jersey metaphysicians“, pp. 429-438

Catherine Elgin, “Keeping things in perspective“, pp. 439-447

Leon Horsten, “Having an interpretation“, pp. 449-459

Bas C. van Fraassen, “Reply to Belot, Elgin, and Horsten,” pp. 461-472.


III.         Inferentialism
8 10/30 Writing Portfolios due. (See syllabus)

Frigg & Nguyen, “Scientific Representation.” Only read Section 5, “The Inferential Conception.”

RIG Hughes, 1997. “Models and Representation.” Philosophy of Science 64: S325-S336.

Mauricio Suárez, 2004. “An Inferential Conception of Scientific Representation,” Philosophy of Science 71(5): 767-779.


9 11/6 Gabriele Contessa, 2007. “Scientific Representation, Interpretation, and Surrogative Reasoning”, Philosophy of Science, 74(1): 48–68.

—2010, “Scientific Models and Fictional Objects”, Synthese, 172: 215–29

Frigg & Nguyen, “Scientific Representation.” Only read Sections 6 “The Fiction View of Models” Optional: finish it up, and read Section 7 “Representation-As”


10 11/13 Elay Shech, 2015, “Scientific Misrepresentation and Guides to Ontology: The Need for Representational Code and Contents”, Synthese, 192(11): 3463–3485.

Mauricio Suarez, 2015 “Deflationary Representation, Inference, and Practice”, Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 49: 36–47.

ABSTRACTS DUE: Write a prospective abstract (either basic or extended) as described here.

I’d encourage you to meet with me about topics before submitting your abstract.

Important details about the FINAL WEEKS of the class can be found here.

IV.          Writing Workshops: Paper 2, Draft 1 Due on Selected Dates
11 11/20 Cancelled
12 11/27 Group 1 (1:15-2:45)

Group 2 (2:45-4:15)

13 12/4 Group 3 (1:15-2:45)

Group 4 (2:45-3:45)

EVERYONE Course response forms, fond farewells, etc. (3:45-4:15)

Finals Week 12/12 Paper 2, Draft 2 Due. EMAIL THIS TO ME. DO NOT SEND ME A HARD COPY.

Group 1: Margot Griffith, Chris Amata, Sawyer Tadano

Group 2: Farhan Islam, Thibault Lannoy, Nick Hill

Group 3: Zeming (Louis) Liu, Haoyang Yu, Masa Sakamoto

Group 4: Nimaya Lemal, Phaedra Robinson, Jordana Solomon