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Scientific Representation and the Semantic View of Theories
 THEORIA 55: 49–65
, 2006
"... It is now part and parcel of the official philosophical wisdom that models are essential to the acquisition and organisation of scientific knowledge. It is also generally accepted that most models represent their target systems in one way or another. But what does it mean for a model to represent i ..."
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It is now part and parcel of the official philosophical wisdom that models are essential to the acquisition and organisation of scientific knowledge. It is also generally accepted that most models represent their target systems in one way or another. But what does it mean for a model to represent its target system? I begin by introducing three conundrums that a theory of scientific representation has to come to terms with and then address the question of whether the semantic view of theories, which is the currently most widely accepted account of theories and models, provides us with adequate answers to these questions. After having argued in some detail that it does not, I conclude by pointing out in what direction a tenable account of scientific representation might be sought.
A Language for Specifying and Comparing Table Recognition Strategies
, 2004
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Models and Representation: Why Structures Are Not Enough
 MEASUREMENT IN PHYSICS AND ECONOMICS PROJECT DISCUSSION PAPER SERIES, DP MEAS 25/02, LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS
, 2002
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Representing Scientific Representation
, 2003
"... Scientific discourse is rife with passages that appear to be ordinary descriptions of systems of interest in a particular discipline. Equally, the pages of textbooks and journals are filled with discussions of the properties and the behavior of those systems. Students of mechanics investigate at len ..."
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Scientific discourse is rife with passages that appear to be ordinary descriptions of systems of interest in a particular discipline. Equally, the pages of textbooks and journals are filled with discussions of the properties and the behavior of those systems. Students of mechanics investigate at length the dynamical properties of a
From Hilbert’s Program to a Logic Tool Box
"... www.cs.technion.ac.il/∼janos Abstract. In this paper I discuss what, according to my long experience, every computer scientists should know from logic. We concentrate on issues of modeling, interpretability and levels of abstraction. We discuss what the minimal toolbox of logic tools should look lik ..."
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www.cs.technion.ac.il/∼janos Abstract. In this paper I discuss what, according to my long experience, every computer scientists should know from logic. We concentrate on issues of modeling, interpretability and levels of abstraction. We discuss what the minimal toolbox of logic tools should look like for a computer scientist who is involved in designing and analyzing reliable systems. We shall conclude that many classical topics dear to logicians are less important than usually presented, and that less known ideas from logic may be more useful for the working computer scientist. For Witek Marek, first mentor, then colleague and true friend, on the occasion of his 65th birthday.
Philosophia Mathematica (III) 13 (2005), 115–134. doi:10.1093/philmat/nki010 ‘Mathematical Platonism ’ Versus Gathering the Dead: What Socrates teaches Glaucon †
"... Glaucon in Plato’s Republic fails to grasp intermediates. He confuses pursuing a goal with achieving it, and so he adopts ‘mathematical platonism’. He says mathematical objects are eternal. Socrates urges a seriously debatable, and seriously defensible, alternative centered on the destruction of hyp ..."
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Glaucon in Plato’s Republic fails to grasp intermediates. He confuses pursuing a goal with achieving it, and so he adopts ‘mathematical platonism’. He says mathematical objects are eternal. Socrates urges a seriously debatable, and seriously defensible, alternative centered on the destruction of hypotheses. He offers his version of geometry and astronomy as refuting the charge that he impiously ‘ponders things up in the sky and investigates things under the earth and makes the weaker argument the stronger’. We relate his account briefly to mathematical developments by Plato’s associates Theaetetus and Eudoxus, and then to the past 200 years ’ developments in geometry. Plato was much less prodigal of affirmation about metaphysical ultimates than interpreters who take his myths literally have supposed. (Paul Shorey [1935], p. 130) Mathematics views its most cherished answers only as springboards to deeper questions. (Barry Mazur [2003], p. 225)
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"... on his 65th birthday In this paper I discuss what, according to my long experience, every computer scientists should know from logic. We concentrate on issues of modeling, interpretability and levels of abstraction. We discuss how the minimal toolbox of logic tools should look like for a computer sc ..."
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on his 65th birthday In this paper I discuss what, according to my long experience, every computer scientists should know from logic. We concentrate on issues of modeling, interpretability and levels of abstraction. We discuss how the minimal toolbox of logic tools should look like for a computer scientist who is involved in designing and analyzing reliable systems. We shall conclude that many classical topics dear to logicians are less important than usually presented, and that less known ideas from logic may be more useful for the working computer scientist. 1 Teaching Logic The following text is not a scientific paper. It is really a prose version of a set of slides in which I present my ideas on the subject. I have presented a first version of these slides at the LPAR’07 conference in Yerevan, Armenia, in October 2007. I do hope that I will finally turn these thoughts into a proper scholarly paper. In these sketchy notes I mostly give references to monographs, and not the original papers. The Students I Have in Mind I want to examine what we should teach from logic to our nonspecialized undergraduate students. I mean, what does every graduate of Computer Science have to learn in/from logic? The current syllabus is often justified more by the traditional narrative than by the practitioner’s needs. The practitioner’s needs are determined by what he needs to understand his own activity in dealing with his computing environment. As a computer/computing engineer he should be aware of the inherent difference between consumer products and lifecritical hardware and software. The occasional failure of consumer goods is beneficial to the functioning of the Fordistic consumer society in as it maintains the consumption cycles needed for its functioning. The failure of lifecritical products is disastrous for all the parties involved. Lifecritical products have to be properly Copyright c ○ 2007, authors listed above. All rights reserved.