History and Philosophy Of Science | Philosophy of Images & Metaphors in Science
X320 | 18193 | Jordi Cat

Science is typically viewed as a mode of reasoning exemplified in
calculations and analysis of laboratory data. But the practice of
science involves also a great deal of imagination. This course
explores philosophical and historical questions raised by the use of
visual representations, metaphorical language and thought
experiments: What do scientific images represent? How do they
succeed in doing so? is computer imaging different from diagrams? Do
illustrations represent values as well as facts? Do photographic
images tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? Do
we really think visually? Is all scientific language literal? Do
metaphors play a cognitive function or are they, rather, a
distraction, embellishment or harmful bearers of biases? In what
sense are thought experiments laboratory experiments? Does the use
of such scientific fictions compromise the objectivity of science?
Does it bring science closer to art?