Open Access “The epistemic status of scientific visualisations”

Chapter 4 “The epistemic status of scientific visualisations” of “Visual Representations in Science – Concept and Epistemology” (Routledge 2018, pp. 209-332) is available as open access file: Please follow this link!

DOI: 10.18154/RWTH-2018-224527
Licence: CC-BY 4.0

This chapter is about the epistemic status of visual representations. Here, the epistemic capacities of visualisations will be analysed and compared to the ones of other representational means; the focus is on a comparison to the epistemic potentials of verbal statements and of numerical data in particular. The following questions will be tackled: Can visual representations transmit knowledge? Can they be proper parts of scientific arguments? What kind of knowledge – propositional or non-propositional – can they transmit and why? In what sense can they facilitate scientific understanding?

This open access publication has been made possible by a grant of the German Research Foundation (DFG). They provided the funding for my project Visualisierungen in den Wissenschaften – eine wissenschaftstheoretische Analyse (MO 2343/1-1), pursued at the Department of Philosophy at RWTH Aachen University. I would like to thank the DFG for their financial support.

Latest Publication “Visual Representations in Science – Concept and Epistemology”

Visual Representations in Science – Concept and Epistemology. London and New York: Routledge 2018. [DOI: 10.4324/9781315108902]

Visual representations (photographs, diagrams, etc.) play crucial roles in scientific processes. They help, for example, to communicate research results and hypotheses to scientific peers as well as to the lay audience. In genuine research activities they are used as evidence or as surrogates for research objects which are otherwise cognitively inaccessible. Despite their important functional roles in scientific practices, philosophers of science have more or less neglected visual representations in their analyses of epistemic methods and tools of reasoning in science. This book is meant to fill this gap. It presents a detailed investigation into central conceptual issues and into the epistemology of visual representations in science.

More information!

Latest Article “Trusting the Media? TV News as a Source of Knowledge”

Nicola Mößner (2018): Trusting the Media? TV News as a Source of
Knowledge, in: International Journal of Philosophical Studies Vol. 26(2), pp. 205-220 DOI: 10.1080/09672559.2018.1450079

Finalist essay of the “2017 ​Robert Papazian Essay Competition

Abstract: Why do we trust TV news? What reasons might support a recipient’s assessment
of the trustworthiness of this kind of information? This paper presents a veritistic
analysis of the epistemic practice of news production and communication. The
topic is approached by discussing a detailed case study, namely the characteristics
of the most popular German news programme, called the ‘Tagesschau’. It will be
shown that a veritistic analysis can indeed provide a recipient with relevant reasons
to consider when pondering on the trustworthiness of sources of information.
Moreover, it will turn out that these reasons are part of what recipients might
gather from media literacy.