ArgLab • International Conference

The Value of Scientific Representation. Classic Issues and Contemporary Challenges

Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, 21–22 June 2023

Keynote speakers: Alisa Bokulich and Michela Massimi.

The conference aims to explore issues from the current debate on scientific representation that may be – directly or indirectly – connected with Mary B. Hesse’s theoretical understanding of science. On a general level, the speakers will engage with open questions related with the value of the scientific world-explanation from a variety of viewpoints that shall not be limited to a philosophical or linguistic analysis of the issues explored, but may also involve contributions devoted to classic figures of the history and philosophy of science.

Book of absctracts here.

Org. Pietro Gori & Maria Grazia Rossi



9:30–10:00 Registration & welcome

10:00–11:30 SESSION 1

Quentin Ruyant, Values and Levels of Abstraction in Scientific Representation

Filip Buekens, The truth of a proposition vs. the accuracy of a representation

Virginia Grigoriadou and Frank A. Coutelieris, Similarity and representation: an ongoing dialogue

11:30–12:00 Coffee break

12:00–13:00 KEYNOTE 1

Michela Massimi, Inferential blueprints and windows on reality

13:00–15:00 Lunch

15:00–16:30 SESSION 2

Laura Bujalance, Mary Hesse to the rescue in contemporary realism debates

John Preston, Mary Hesse’s Scientific Realism(s)

David Hommen, Wittgenstein and Hesse on Metaphors and Family Resemblance

16:30–17:00 Coffee break

17:00–18:30 SESSION 3

Kristina Engelhard, Theories, Models and Modeling in Metaphysics: The Value of Scientific Representation and the Problem of Progress in Metaphysics

Lorenzo Sartori, What Scientific Pictures Tell us

Robert Hudson, The Return of the Pragmatic Theory of Observation


10:00–11:30 SESSION 4

Benjamin Genta, Inferring Relations by Analogy

Davide Vecchi and Giorgio Airoldi, Analogies as global narratives in sentience research

Helene Scott-Fordsmand and Mauricio Suárez, Negative Analogies and Representation in Medical Practice: A Case from Clinical Orthopaedics

11:30–12:00 Coffee break

12:00–13:00 KEYNOTE 2

Alisa Bokulich, Reconstructing Extinct Life: Analogues, Homologues, & Biomechanical Models

13:00–15:00 Lunch

15:00–16:30 SESSION 5

Francesco Striano and Alberto Romele, Hermeneutics of technoscience: expanding Hesse’s approach to scientific modeling and the case study of the use of images

John Huss, Models, Paradigms, and Narratives: a Hesse legacy

Amedeo Robiolio, Causal Explanations and Explanatory Causation

16:30–17:00 Coffee break

17:00–18:30 SESSION 6

Luca Guzzardi, How scientific models shape sociality. A case study from multi-messenger astrophysics

Victoria Martín del Campo, Heuristics on explanations from black box AI models

Zed Adams, The Dialectic of Mind Design