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Distributed for Center for the Study of Language and Information

Semantic Properties of Diagrams and Their Cognitive Potentials

Why are diagrams sometimes so useful, facilitating our understanding and thinking, while at other times they can be unhelpful and even misleading? Drawing on a comprehensive survey of modern research in philosophy, logic, artificial intelligence, cognitive psychology, and graphic design, Semantic Properties of Diagrams and Their Cognitive Potentials reveals the systematic reasons for this dichotomy, showing that the cognitive functions of diagrams are rooted in the characteristic ways they carry information. In analyzing the logical mechanisms behind the relative efficacy of diagrammatic representation, Atsushi Shimojima provides deep insight into the crucial question: What makes a diagram a diagram?

184 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2015

Studies in the Theory and Applications of Diagrams

Language and Linguistics: General Language and Linguistics


Semantic Properties of Diagrams and Their Cognitive Potentials is a most welcome book that brings together the author’s various contributions to a ‘science of diagrams’ into one place under a clear, coherent, and unifying presentation. The book is likely to attract a wide readership among all the academic fields that contribute to the diagrams area. The first step towards a logical foundation for a science of diagrams is an important contribution to an area that continues to be of growing interest among many disciplines. Many potential readers will be interested in the question of what makes an effective representation or why are diagrams often more effective than sentential representations.”

Peter Cheng, University of Sussex (UK)

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