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Distances between formal theories

Friend, Michèle and Khaled, Mohamed and Lefever, Koen and Székely, Gergely (2018) Distances between formal theories. [Preprint]

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Abstract

In the literature, there have been several methods and definitions for working out if two theories are "equivalent" (essentially the same) or not. In this article, we do something subtler. We provide means to measure distances
(and explore connections) between formal theories. We define two main notions for such distances. A natural definition is that of axiomatic distance, but we argue that it might be of limited interest. The more interesting and widely
applicable definition is that of conceptual distance which measures the minimum number of concepts that separate two theories. For instance, we use conceptual distance to show that relativistic and classical kinematics are distinguished
by one concept only. We also develop further notions of distance, and we include a number of suggestions for applying and extending our project. We end with a philosophical discussion of the significance of these approaches.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Friend, Michèlemichele@gwu.edu0000-0003-3956-9125
Khaled, Mohamedkhaled.mohamed@renyi.mta.hu0000-0001-7057-6353
Lefever, Koenkoen.lefever@vub.be0000-0001-7836-4734
Székely, Gergelyturms@renyi.hu
Keywords: Network of theories, degrees of non-equivalence, conceptual distance, relativistic and classical kinematics.
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Logic
Specific Sciences > Mathematics
Depositing User: Dr. Koen Lefever
Date Deposited: 05 Jul 2018 08:39
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2018 08:39
Item ID: 14849
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Logic
Specific Sciences > Mathematics
Date: 2018
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/14849

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