|previous article in this issue||next article in this issue|
Document Details :
Title: Channel-Theoretic Account of Reification in Representation Systems
Author(s): SHIMOJIMA, Atsushi , BARKER-PLUMMER, Dave
Journal: Logique et Analyse
Volume: 251 Date: 2020
Many diagrammatic representations admit multiple readings, depending on the issue that the reader has in mind. We describe a process, which we call reification, by which a representation system based on minimal semantics can come to support multiple readings in this way. Our description is formal and is based on channel theory, a powerful framework for describing information flow. Our description is independent of any particular representation system and applies instead to a large class of systems, including bar charts, spreadsheets, connection graphs and many others. Our formal description begins with a philosophically grounded formalization of representation systems in general, which we then specialize to Single Feature Indicator Systems, a class of representation systems which are simple to analyze, and yet quite ubiquitous. Based on this formalization we describe the process of reification, from which many alternative readings of a single representation are seen to emerge. Finally, we discuss the advantages of our formal framework for the future analysis of representation systems.