Article/Publication Details

Diagrams, Difference-Makers, and Background Knowledge

(Original title: Diagrams, Difference-Makers, and Background Knowledge)
Filozofia, 2019, vol. 74, No 10, pp. 823-840.
Language: English
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It is intriguing how scientific diagrams can facilitate scientific explanations. Philosophers argue that the difference-maker afforded in scientific diagrams can provide an explanation for the phenomenon of interest. I argue that difference-maker alone is insufficient to provide a well-informed scientific explanation. I articulate that the non-depicting relevant background knowledge has a significant role to play in diagrammatic explanations. The difference-makers play the solicitor role in soliciting the relevant explanatory resources from the relevant background knowledge of the depictum. An epistemic aggregation which regiments the relevant background knowledge may provide a well-informed scientific explanation of a depicted phenomenon.


Difference-makers, Explanation, Knowledge, Scientific diagrams, Scientific representation, Visual attributes