The epistemic representation: visual production and communication of scientific knowledge.

Francisco López Cantos

Abstract

Despite its great influence on the History of Science, visual representations have attracted marginal interest until very recently and have often been regarded as a simple aid for mere illustration or scientific demonstration. However, it has been shown that visualization is an integral element of reasoning and a highly effective and common heuristic strategy in the scientific community and that the study of the conditions of visual production and communication are essential in the development of scientific knowledge.

In this paper we deal with the nature of the various forms of visual representation of knowledge that have been happening throughout the history of science, taking as its starting point the illustrated monumental works and three-dimensional models that begin to develop within the scientific community around the fifteenth century. The main thesis of this paper is that any scientific visual representations have common elements that allow us to approach them from epistemic nature, heuristic and communicative dimension.


Keywords

Illustrations; Models; Pictures; Photography; Images; Simulation; Epistemology; Communication; Science

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