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Representation and Invariance of Scientific Structures

CSLI Publications (distributed by Chicago University Press) (2002)

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  1. Scientific Theories, Models and the Semantic Approach.Krause Décio & Bueno Otávio - 2007 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 11 (2):187-201.
    According to the semantic view, a theory is characterized by a class of models. In this paper, we examine critically some of the assumptions that underlie this approach. First, we recall that models are models of something. Thus we cannot leave completely aside the axiomatization of the theories under consideration, nor can we ignore the metamathematics used to elaborate these models, for changes in the metamathematics often impose restrictions on the resulting models. Second, based on a parallel between van Fraassen’s (...)
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  • An Inferential Response to the "Loss of Reality Objection" to Structural Empiricism.Franco Menares Paredes - 2022 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 26 (3):539–558.
    This paper aims to meet an objection that has been raised against structural empiricism known as the “loss of reality objection.” I argue that an inferential approach to scientific representation allows the structural empiricist to account for the representation of phenomena by data models and ensures that such a representation is not arbitrary. By the notions of immersion, derivation, and interpretation, I show how data models are able to represent phenomena in a non-arbitrary manner. I conclude this paper with a (...)
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  • Dynamic Tractable Reasoning: A Modular Approach to Belief Revision.Holger Andreas - 2020 - Cham, Schweiz: Springer.
    This book aims to lay bare the logical foundations of tractable reasoning. It draws on Marvin Minsky's seminal work on frames, which has been highly influential in computer science and, to a lesser extent, in cognitive science. Only very few people have explored ideas about frames in logic, which is why the investigation in this book breaks new ground. The apparent intractability of dynamic, inferential reasoning is an unsolved problem in both cognitive science and logic-oriented artificial intelligence. By means of (...)
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  • Decision Theory.Katie Steele & H. Orri Stefánsson - 2012 - In Ed Zalta (ed.), Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Scientific Theories.Hans Halvorson - 2014 - In Paul Humphreys (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Science. New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 585-608.
    Since the beginning of the 20th century, philosophers of science have asked, "what kind of thing is a scientific theory?" The logical positivists answered: a scientific theory is a mathematical theory, plus an empirical interpretation of that theory. Moreover, they assumed that a mathematical theory is specified by a set of axioms in a formal language. Later 20th century philosophers questioned this account, arguing instead that a scientific theory need not include a mathematical component; or that the mathematical component need (...)
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  • Realism in Energy Transition Processes: An Example from Bohmian Quantum Mechanics.J. Acacio De Barros, J. P. R. F. De Mendonça & N. Pinto-Neto - 2007 - Synthese 154 (3):349 - 370.
    In this paper we study in details a system of two weakly coupled harmonic oscillators from the point of view of Bohm's interpretation of quantum mechanics. This system may be viewed as a simple model for the interaction between a photon and a photodetector. We obtain exact solutions for the general case. We then compute approximate solutions for the case where one oscillator is initially in its first excited state (a single photon) reaching the other oscillator in its ground state (...)
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  • Realism in energy transition processes: An example from Bohmian quantum mechanics.J. Acacio de Barros, J. P. R. F. de Mendonça & N. Pinto-Neto - 2007 - Synthese 154 (3):349-370.
    In this paper we study in details a system of two weakly coupled harmonic oscillators from the point of view of Bohm’s interpretation of quantum mechanics. This system may be viewed as a simple model for the interaction between a photon and a photodetector. We obtain exact solutions for the general case. We then compute approximate solutions for the case where one oscillator is initially in its first excited state (a single photon) reaching the other oscillator in its ground state (...)
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  • Ontology and the Mathematization of the Scientific Enterprise.Décio Krause, Jonas R. B. Arenhart & Newton C. A. da Costa - 2012 - Phainomenon 25 (1):109-130.
    In this basically expository paper we discuss the role oflogic and mathematics in researches concerning the ontology of scientific theories, and we consider the particular case of quantum mechanics. We argue that systems of logic in general, and classical logic in particular, may contribute substantially with the ontology of any theory that has this logic in its base. In the case of quantum mechanics, however, from the point of view of philosophical discussions conceming identity and individuality, those contributions may not (...)
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  • Scientific Theories, Models and the Semantic Approach.Otávio Bueno & Décio Krause - 2007 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 11 (2):187-201.
    According to the semantic view, a theory is characterized by a class of models. In this paper, we examine critically some of the assumptions that underlie this approach. First, we recall that models are models of something. Thus we cannot leave completely aside the axiomatization of the theories under consideration, nor can we ignore the metamathematics used to elaborate these models, for changes in the metamathematics often impose restrictions on the resulting models. Second, based on a parallel between van Fraassen’s (...)
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  • Psa 2018.Philsci-Archive -Preprint Volume- - unknown
    These preprints were automatically compiled into a PDF from the collection of papers deposited in PhilSci-Archive in conjunction with the PSA 2018.
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  • Modeling Diachronic Changes in Structuralism and in Conceptual Spaces.Frank Zenker & Peter Gärdenfors - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (S8):1-15.
    Our aim in this article is to show how the theory of conceptual spaces can be useful in describing diachronic changes to conceptual frameworks, and thus useful in understanding conceptual change in the empirical sciences. We also compare the conceptual space approach to Moulines’s typology of intertheoretical relations in the structuralist tradition. Unlike structuralist reconstructions, those based on conceptual spaces yield a natural way of modeling the changes of a conceptual framework, including noncumulative changes, by tracing the changes to the (...)
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  • Continuity of Theory Structure: A Conceptual Spaces Approach.Frank Zenker & Peter Gärdenfors - 2016 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 30 (4):343-360.
    By understanding laws of nature as geometrical rather than linguistic entities, this paper addresses how to describe theory structures and how to evaluate their continuity. Relying on conceptual spaces as a modelling tool, we focus on the conceptual framework an empirical theory presupposes, thus obtain a geometrical representation of a theory’s structure. We stress the relevance of measurement procedures in separating conceptual from empirical structures. This lets our understanding of scientific laws come closer to scientific practice, and avoids a widely (...)
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  • Epistemology Mathematicized.John Woods - 2013 - Informal Logic 33 (2):292-331.
    Epistemology and informal logic have overlapping and broadly similar subject matters. A principle of methodological symmetry is: philosophical theories of sufficiently similar subject matters should engage similar methods. Suppose the best way to do epistemology is in highly formalized ways, with a large role for mathematical methods. The symmetry principle suggests this is also the best way to do the logic of the reasoning and argument, the subject matter of informal logic. A capitulation to mathematics is inimical to informal logicians, (...)
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  • Semantics and Truth.Jan Woleński - 2019 - Cham, Switzerland: Springer Verlag.
    The book provides a historical and systematic exposition of the semantic theory of truth formulated by Alfred Tarski in the 1930s. This theory became famous very soon and inspired logicians and philosophers. It has two different, but interconnected aspects: formal-logical and philosophical. The book deals with both, but it is intended mostly as a philosophical monograph. It explains Tarski’s motivation and presents discussions about his ideas as well as points out various applications of the semantic theory of truth to philosophical (...)
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  • Factive inferentialism and the puzzle of model-based explanation.Philippe Verreault-Julien - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):10039-10057.
    Highly idealized models may serve various epistemic functions, notably explanation, in virtue of representing the world. Inferentialism provides a prima facie compelling characterization of what constitutes the representation relation. In this paper, I argue that what I call factive inferentialism does not provide a satisfactory solution to the puzzle of model-based—factive—explanation. In particular, I show that making explanatory counterfactual inferences is not a sufficient guide for accurate representation, factivity, or realism. I conclude by calling for a more explicit specification of (...)
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  • Quantitative Data From Rating Scales: An Epistemological and Methodological Enquiry.Jana Uher - 2018 - Frontiers in Psychology 9.
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  • The Explanatory Role of Concepts.Samuel D. Taylor & Gottfried Vosgerau - 2021 - Erkenntnis 86 (5):1045-1070.
    Machery and Weiskopf argue that the kind concept is a natural kind if and only if it plays an explanatory role in cognitive scientific explanations. In this paper, we argue against this explanationist approach to determining the natural kind-hood of concept. We first demonstrate that hybrid, pluralist, and eliminativist theories of concepts afford the kind concept different explanatory roles. Then, we argue that we cannot decide between hybrid, pluralist, and eliminativist theories of concepts, because each endorses a different, but equally (...)
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  • Inductive Logic as Explication: The Evolution of Carnap’s Notion of Logical Probability.Marta Sznajder - 2018 - The Monist 101 (4):417-440.
    According to a popular interpretation, Carnap’s interpretation of probability had evolved from a logical towards a subjective conception. However Carnap himself insisted that his basic philosophical view of probability was always the same. I address this apparent clash between Carnap's self-identification and the subsequent interpretations of his work. Following its original intentions, I reconstruct inductive logic as an explication. The emerging picture is of a versatile linguistic framework, whose main function is not the discovery of objective logical relations in the (...)
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  • The Representational Semantic Conception.Mauricio Suárez & Francesca Pero - 2019 - Philosophy of Science 86 (2):344-365.
    This paper argues for a representational semantic conception of scientific theories, which respects the bare claim of any semantic view, namely that theories can be characterised as sets of models. RSC must be sharply distinguished from structural versions that assume a further identity of ‘models’ and ‘structures’, which we reject. The practice-turn in the recent philosophical literature suggests instead that modelling must be understood in a deflationary spirit, in terms of the diverse representational practices in the sciences. These insights are (...)
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  • Theories: Tools versus models.Mauricio Suárez & Nancy Cartwright - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 39 (1):62-81.
    In “The Toolbox of Science” (1995) together with Towfic Shomar we advocated a form of instrumentalism about scientific theories. We separately developed this view further in a number of subsequent works. Steven French, James Ladyman, Otavio Bueno and Newton Da Costa (FLBD) have since written at least eight papers and a book criticising our work. Here we defend ourselves. First we explain what we mean in denying that models derive from theory – and why their failure to do so should (...)
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  • Where do Bayesian priors come from?Patrick Suppes - 2007 - Synthese 156 (3):441-471.
    Bayesian prior probabilities have an important place in probabilistic and statistical methods. In spite of this fact, the analysis of where these priors come from and how they are formed has received little attention. It is reasonable to excuse the lack, in the foundational literature, of detailed psychological theory of what are the mechanisms by which prior probabilities are formed. But it is less excusable that there is an almost total absence of a detailed discussion of the highly differentiating nature (...)
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  • The nature of probability.Patrick Suppes - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 147 (1):89 - 102.
    The thesis of this article is that the nature of probability is centered on its formal properties, not on any of its standard interpretations. Section 2 is a survey of Bayesian applications. Section 3 focuses on two examples from physics that seem as completely objective as other physical concepts. Section 4 compares the conflict between subjective Bayesians and objectivists about probability to the earlier strident conflict in physics about the nature of force. Section 5 outlines a pragmatic approach to the (...)
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  • Statistical concepts in philosophy of science.Patrick Suppes - 2007 - Synthese 154 (3):485--496.
    This article focuses on the role of statistical concepts in both experiment and theory in various scientific disciplines, especially physics, including astronomy, and psychology. In Sect. 1 the concept of uncertainty in astronomy is analyzed from Ptolemy to Laplace and Gauss. In Sect. 2 theoretical uses of probability and statistics in science are surveyed. Attention is focused on the historically important example of radioactive decay. In Sect. 3 the use of statistics in biology and the social sciences is examined, with (...)
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  • Rhythm and meaning in poetry.Patrick Suppes - 2009 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 33 (1):159-166.
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  • Future development of scientific structures closer to experiments: Response to F.A. Muller.Patrick Suppes - 2011 - Synthese 183 (1):115-126.
    First of all, I agree with much of what F.A. Muller says in his article ‘Reflections on the revolution in Stanford’. And where I differ, the difference is on the decision of what direction of further development represents the best choice for the philosophy of science. I list my remarks as a sequence of topics.
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  • What is "real" in Probabilism?H. Orri Stefánsson - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (3):573-587.
    This paper defends two related claims about belief. First, the claim that unlike numerical degrees of belief, comparative beliefs are primitive and psychologically real. Second, the claim that the fundamental norm of Probabilism is not that numerical degrees of belief should satisfy the probability axioms, but rather that comparative beliefs should satisfy certain constraints.
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  • Solomonoff Prediction and Occam’s Razor.Tom F. Sterkenburg - 2016 - Philosophy of Science 83 (4):459-479.
    Algorithmic information theory gives an idealized notion of compressibility that is often presented as an objective measure of simplicity. It is suggested at times that Solomonoff prediction, or algorithmic information theory in a predictive setting, can deliver an argument to justify Occam’s razor. This article explicates the relevant argument and, by converting it into a Bayesian framework, reveals why it has no such justificatory force. The supposed simplicity concept is better perceived as a specific inductive assumption, the assumption of effectiveness. (...)
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  • Continuity and catastrophic risk.H. Orri Stefánsson - 2022 - Economics and Philosophy 38 (2):266-274.
    Suppose that a decision-maker's aim, under certainty, is to maximise some continuous value, such as lifetime income or continuous social welfare. Can such a decision-maker rationally satisfy what has been called "continuity for easy cases" while at the same time satisfying what seems to be a widespread intuition against the full-blown continuity axiom of expected utility theory? In this note I argue that the answer is "no": given transitivity and a weak trade-off principle, continuity for easy cases violates the anti-continuity (...)
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  • Truth, Revenge, and Internalizability.Kevin Scharp - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (S3):597-645.
    Although there has been a recent swell of interest in theories of truth that attempt solutions to the liar paradox and the other paradoxes affecting our concept of truth, many of these theories have been criticized for generating new paradoxes, called revenge paradoxes. The criticism is that the theories of truth in question are inadequate because they only work for languages lacking in the resources to generate revenge paradoxes. Theorists facing these objections offer a range of replies, and the matter (...)
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  • Finitistic and Frequentistic Approximation of Probability Measures with or without σ-Additivity.G. Schurz & H. Leitgeb - 2008 - Studia Logica 89 (2):257-283.
    In this paper a theory of finitistic and frequentistic approximations — in short: f-approximations — of probability measures P over a countably infinite outcome space N is developed. The family of subsets of N for which f-approximations converge to a frequency limit forms a pre-Dynkin system $${{D\subseteq\wp(N)}}$$. The limiting probability measure over D can always be extended to a probability measure over $${{\wp(N)}}$$, but this measure is not always σ-additive. We conclude that probability measures can be regarded as idealizations of (...)
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  • Some problems concerning language and physics.Adonai Sant’Anna & Gabriel Guerrer - 2007 - Synthese 154 (3):467-484.
    We discuss three problems concerning the use of formal languages in theoretical physics: (i) the definability of time and spacetime in classical physical theories; (ii) how to cope with indistinguishable elementary particles in quantum mechanics without labeling them; and (iii) how to get a formal picture of quantum states jumping.
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  • Sets and Functions in Theoretical Physics.Adonai S. Sant’Anna & Otávio Bueno - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (2):257-281.
    It is easy to show that in many natural axiomatic formulations of physical and even mathematical theories, there are many superfluous concepts usually assumed as primitive. This happens mainly when these theories are formulated in the language of standard set theories, such as Zermelo–Fraenkel’s. In 1925, John von Neumann created a set theory where sets are definable by means of functions. We provide a reformulation of von Neumann’s set theory and show that it can be used to formulate physical and (...)
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  • Reconstructor: a computer program that uses three-valued logics to represent lack of information in empirical scientific contexts.Ariel Jonathan Roffé - 2020 - Journal of Applied Non-Classical Logics 30 (1):68-91.
    In this article, I develop three conceptual innovations within the area of formal metatheory, and present a computer program, called Reconstructor, that implements those developments. The first development consists in a methodology for testing formal reconstructions of scientific theories, which involves checking both whether translations of paradigmatically successful applications into models satisfy the formalisation of the laws, and also whether unsuccessful applications do not. I show how Reconstructor can help carry this out, since it allows the end-user to specify a (...)
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  • The Geometry of Otto Selz’s Natural Space.Klaus Robering - 2019 - Erkenntnis 86 (2):325-354.
    Following ideas elaborated by Hering in his celebrated analysis of color, the psychologist and gestalt theorist Otto Selz developed in the 1930s a theory of “natural space”, i.e., space as it is conceived by us. Selz’s thesis is that the geometric laws of natural space describe how the points of this space are related to each other by directions which are ordered in the same way as the points on a sphere. At the end of one of his articles, Selz (...)
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  • From Euler to Navier–Stokes: A Spatial Analysis of Conceptual Changes in Nineteenth-century Fluid Dynamics.Graciana Petersen & Frank Zenker - 2014 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 28 (3):235-253.
    This article provides a spatial analysis of the conceptual framework of fluid dynamics during the nineteenth century, focusing on the transition from the Euler equation to the Navier–Stokes equation. A dynamic version of Peter Gärdenfors's theory of conceptual spaces is applied which distinguishes changes of five types: addition and deletion of special laws; change of metric; change in importance; change in separability; addition and deletion of dimensions. The case instantiates all types but the deletion of dimensions. We also provide a (...)
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  • Species as Models.Jun Otsuka - 2019 - Philosophy of Science 86 (5):1075-1086.
    This article characterizes various species concepts in terms of set-theoretic models that license biological inferences and illustrates the logical connections among different species concepts. Species in this construal are abstract models, rather than biological or even tangible entities, and relate to individual organisms via representation, rather than the membership or mereological whole/part relationship. The proposal sheds new light on vexed issues of species and situates them within broader philosophical contexts of model selection, scientific representation, and scientific realism.
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  • The Causal Homology Concept.Jun Otsuka - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (5):1128-1139.
    I propose a new account of homology, according to which homology is a correspondence of developmental mechanisms due to common ancestry, formally defined as an isomorphism of causal graphs over lineages. The semiformal definition highlights the role of homology as a higher-order principle unifying evolutionary models and also provides definite meanings to concepts like constraints, evolvability, and novelty. The novel interpretation of homology suggests a broad perspective that accommodates evolutionary developmental biology and traditional population genetics as distinct but complementary approaches (...)
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  • Reflections on the revolution at Stanford.F. A. Muller - 2011 - Synthese 183 (1):87-114.
    We inquire into the question whether the Aristotelean or classical \emph{ideal} of science has been realised by the Model Revolution, initiated at Stanford University during the 1950ies and spread all around the world of philosophy of science --- \emph{salute} P.\ Suppes. The guiding principle of the Model Revolution is: \emph{a scientific theory is a set of structures in the domain of discourse of axiomatic set-theory}, characterised by a set-theoretical predicate. We expound some critical reflections on the Model Revolution; the conclusions (...)
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  • Inconsistency in classical electrodynamics?F. A. Muller - 2007 - Philosophy of Science 74 (2):253-277.
    In a recent issue of this journal, M. Frisch claims to have proven that classical electrodynamics is an inconsistent physical theory. We argue that he has applied classical electrodynamics inconsistently. Frisch also claims that all other classical theories of electromagnetic phenomena, when consistent and in some sense an approximation of classical electrodynamics, are haunted by “serious conceptual problems” that defy resolution. We argue that this claim is based on a partisan if not misleading presentation of theoretical research in classical electrodynamics.
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  • Patrick Suppes: A Profile.Carlos Ulises Moulines - 2016 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 47 (1):1-10.
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  • Models, measurement and computer simulation: the changing face of experimentation.Margaret Morrison - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 143 (1):33-57.
    The paper presents an argument for treating certain types of computer simulation as having the same epistemic status as experimental measurement. While this may seem a rather counterintuitive view it becomes less so when one looks carefully at the role that models play in experimental activity, particularly measurement. I begin by discussing how models function as “measuring instruments” and go on to examine the ways in which simulation can be said to constitute an experimental activity. By focussing on the connections (...)
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  • Using conceptual spaces to exhibit conceptual continuity through scientific theory change.George Masterton, Frank Zenker & Peter Gärdenfors - 2016 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 7 (1):127-150.
    There is a great deal of justified concern about continuity through scientific theory change. Our thesis is that, particularly in physics, such continuity can be appropriately captured at the level of conceptual frameworks using conceptual space models. Indeed, we contend that the conceptual spaces of three of our most important physical theories—Classical Mechanics, Special Relativity Theory, and Quantum Mechanics —have already been so modelled as phase-spaces. Working with their phase-space formulations, one can trace the conceptual changes and continuities in transitioning (...)
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  • The interplay between models and observations.Claudio Masolo, Alessander Botti Benevides & Daniele Porello - 2018 - Applied ontology 13 (1):41-71.
    We propose a formal framework to examine the relationship between models and observations. To make our analysis precise,models are reduced to first-order theories that represent both terminological knowledge – e.g., the laws that are supposed to regulate the domain under analysis and that allow for explanations, predictions, and simulations – and assertional knowledge – e.g., information about specific entities in the domain of interest. Observations are introduced into the domain of quantification of a distinct first-order theory that describes their nature (...)
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  • Model-based Explanation in the Social Sciences: Modeling Kinship Terminologies and Romantic Networks.Caterina Marchionni - 2013 - Perspectives on Science 21 (2):175-180.
    Read argues that modeling cultural idea systems serves to make explicit the cultural rules through which "cultural idea systems" frame behaviors that are culturally meaningful. Because cultural rules are typically "invisible" to us, one of the anthropologists' tasks is to elicit these rules, make them explicit and then use them to build explanations for patterns in cultural phenomena. The main example of Read's approach to cultural idea systems is the formal modeling of kinship terminologies. I reconstruct Read's modeling strategy as (...)
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  • What’s Right with a Syntactic Approach to Theories and Models?Sebastian Lutz - 2010 - Erkenntnis (S8):1-18.
    Syntactic approaches in the philosophy of science, which are based on formalizations in predicate logic, are often considered in principle inferior to semantic approaches, which are based on formalizations with the help of structures. To compare the two kinds of approach, I identify some ambiguities in common semantic accounts and explicate the concept of a structure in a way that avoids hidden references to a specific vocabulary. From there, I argue that contrary to common opinion (i) unintended models do not (...)
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  • What Was the Syntax‐Semantics Debate in the Philosophy of Science About?Sebastian Lutz - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 95 (2):319-352.
    The debate between critics of syntactic and semantic approaches to the formalization of scientific theories has been going on for over 50 years. I structure the debate in light of a recent exchange between Hans Halvorson, Clark Glymour, and Bas van Fraassen and argue that the only remaining disagreement concerns the alleged difference in the dependence of syntactic and semantic approaches on languages of predicate logic. This difference turns out to be illusory.
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  • Generalizing empirical adequacy I: multiplicity and approximation.Sebastian Lutz - 2014 - Synthese 191 (14):3195-3225.
    I provide an explicit formulation of empirical adequacy, the central concept of constructive empiricism, and point out a number of problems. Based on one of the inspirations for empirical adequacy, I generalize the notion of a theory to avoid implausible presumptions about the relation of theoretical concepts and observations, and generalize empirical adequacy with the help of approximation sets to allow for lack of knowledge, approximations, and successive gain of knowledge and precision. As a test case, I provide an application (...)
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  • Generalizing Empirical Adequacy II: Partial Structures.Sebastian Lutz - 2021 - Synthese 198 (2):1351-1380.
    I show that extant attempts to capture and generalize empirical adequacy in terms of partial structures fail. Indeed, the motivations for the generalizations in the partial structures approach are better met by the generalizations via approximation sets developed in “Generalizing Empirical Adequacy I”. Approximation sets also generalize partial structures.
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  • Talking About Models: The Inherent Constraints of Mathematics.Stathis Livadas - 2020 - Axiomathes 30 (1):13-36.
    In this article my primary intention is to engage in a discussion on the inherent constraints of models, taken as models of theories, that reaches beyond the epistemological level. Naturally the paper takes into account the ongoing debate between proponents of the syntactic and the semantic view of theories and that between proponents of the various versions of scientific realism, reaching down to the most fundamental, subjective level of discourse. In this approach, while allowing for a limited discussion of physical (...)
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  • Inference to the Best explanation.Peter Lipton - 2004 - In Martin Curd & Stathis Psillos (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Science. Routledge. pp. 193.
    Science depends on judgments of the bearing of evidence on theory. Scientists must judge whether an observation or the result of an experiment supports, disconfirms, or is simply irrelevant to a given hypothesis. Similarly, scientists may judge that, given all the available evidence, a hypothesis ought to be accepted as correct or nearly so, rejected as false, or neither. Occasionally, these evidential judgments can be made on deductive grounds. If an experimental result strictly contradicts a hypothesis, then the truth of (...)
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