In this paper, I provide an account of scientific representation that makes sense of the notion both at the nanoscale and at the quantum level: the partial mappings account. The account offers an extension of a proposal developed by R. I. G. Hughes in terms of denotation, demonstration, and interpretation (DDI). I first argue that the DDI account needs some amendments to accommodate representation of nano and quantum phenomena. I then introduce a generalized framework with the notions of unsharp denotation, unsharp interpretation, and partial mappings. I conclude by arguing that the resulting view not only accommodates nano and quantum representations but also makes sense of representation by imaging in (scanning tunneling) microscopy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- History and Philosophy of Science