This chapter considers the complicated interactions between mathematics and the scale of a scientific representation. Some aspects of scale echo the contributions found in chapters 3 and 4. Others relate to the simplification of a representation using techniques drawn from perturbation theory. Two detailed examples of this are developed corresponding to the distinction between regular and singular perturbation theory. These cases allow a clarification of how some sorts of idealization allow scientists to formulate accurate representations which can be tested and eventually confirmed. One challenge which singular perturbation techniques pose is that it becomes difficult to properly interpret the resulting representations. This challenge is illustrated by some recent debates about the proper interpretation of some successful scientific representations.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.