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Meaning, Truth, and Physics

Szabo, Laszlo E. (2017) Meaning, Truth, and Physics. In G. Hofer-Szabó, L. Wronski (eds.) Making it Formally Explicit.

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Abstract

A physical theory is a partially interpreted axiomatic formal system (L,S), where L is a formal language with some logical, mathematical and physical axioms, and with some derivation rules, and the semantics S is a relationship between the formulas of L and some states of affairs in the physical world. In our ordinary discourse, the formal system L is regarded as an abstract object or structure, the semantics S as something which involves the mental/conceptual realm. This view is of course incompatible with physicalism. How can physical theory be accommodated in a purely physical ontology? The aim of this paper is to outline an account for meaning and truth of physical theory, within the philosophical framework spanned by three doctrines: physicalism, empiricism, and the formalist philosophy of mathematics.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Szabo, Laszlo E.laszlo.e.szabo@gmail.com
Keywords: physicalism; empiricism; formalism; semantics; physical theory
Subjects: General Issues > Logical Positivism/Logical Empiricism
General Issues > Structure of Theories
General Issues > Theory/Observation
Depositing User: Prof. Laszlo E. Szabo
Date Deposited: 30 Aug 2017 11:23
Last Modified: 30 Aug 2017 11:23
Item ID: 13378
Journal or Publication Title: In G. Hofer-Szabó, L. Wronski (eds.) Making it Formally Explicit
Publisher: Springer International Publishing
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1007/978-3-319-55486-0_9
Subjects: General Issues > Logical Positivism/Logical Empiricism
General Issues > Structure of Theories
General Issues > Theory/Observation
Date: 2017
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/13378

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