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Ramsey equivalence

Dewar, Neil (2017) Ramsey equivalence. [Preprint]

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In the literature over the Ramsey-sentence approach to structural realism, there is often debate over whether structural realists can legitimately restrict the range of the second-order quantifiers, in order to avoid the Newman problem. In this paper, I argue that even if they are allowed to, it won’t help: even if the Ramsey sentence is interpreted using such restricted quantifiers, it is still an implausible candidate to capture a theory’s structural content. To do so, I use the following observation: if a Ramsey sentence did encode a theory’s structural content, then two theories would be structurally equivalent just in case they have logically equivalent Ramsey sentences. I then argue that this criterion for structural equivalence is implausible, even where frame or Henkin semantics are used.

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Item Type: Preprint
Keywords: Newman problem Ramsey sentence Theoretical equivalence
Subjects: General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
General Issues > Structure of Theories
Depositing User: Neil Dewar
Date Deposited: 21 Jul 2017 13:51
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2017 13:51
Item ID: 13237
Subjects: General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
General Issues > Structure of Theories
Date: 17 April 2017

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