A Model-Theoretic Interpretation of Science

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I am arguing that it is only by concentrating on the role of models in theory construction, interpretation and change, that one can study the progress of science sensibly. I define the level at which these models operate as a level above the purely empirical (consisting of various systems in reality) but also indeed below that of the fundamental formal theories (expressed linguistically). The essentially multi-interpretability of the theory at the general, abstract linguistic level, implies that it can potentially make claims about systems in reality, other than the particular one which originally induced it. Any so-called correspondence relation between (systems in) reality and the entities and relations in some scientific theory, thus consists of two jumps or interpretations: from the theory (linguistic level) to some model of it (constructural level); and from there to some system in reality. Clearly then the level of fundamental theories cannot be ignored la Nancy Cartwright - in studying the relations between a theory and reality, because the particular features of the theory (the various systems in reality onto which the theory can be mapped) cannot be studied without the underlying knowledge that these systems have one common feature, namely that each of them is the range (or other pole) of a mapping of a context-specific model of the theory - which in itself, is a mapping, or more specifically, an interpretation of the theory. I am also claiming that the nature of these levels and the relations between them necessitate an epistemological rather than an ontological notion of truth criteria, and a referential rather than a representational link between science and reality.
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Archival date: 2016-09-27
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