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Structural Correspondence, Indirect Reference, and Partial Truth: Phlogiston Theory and Newtonian Mechanics

Schurz, Gerhard (2009) Structural Correspondence, Indirect Reference, and Partial Truth: Phlogiston Theory and Newtonian Mechanics. In: [2008] Theoretical Frameworks and Empirical Underdetermination Workshop (Düsseldorf April 10-12, 2008).

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    Abstract

    This paper elaborates on the following correspondence theorem (which has been defended and formally proved elsewhere): if theory T has been empirically successful in a domain of applications A, but was superseded later on by a different theory T* which was likewise successful in A, then under natural conditions T contains theoretical expressions f which were responsible for T's success and correspond (in A) to certain theoretical expressions f* of T*. I illustrate this theorem at hand of the phlogiston vs. oxygen theories of combustion, and the classical vs. relativistic theories of mass. The ontological consequences of the theorem are worked out in terms of the indirect reference and partial truth. The final section explains how the correspondence theorem may justify a weak version of scientific realism without presupposing the no-miracles argument.


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    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
    Keywords: correspondence principle, reference, theoretical terms, scientific realism, structural realism, empirical success, phlogiston, oxygen, phlogiston vs. oxygen theories of combustion, classical vs. relativistic theories of mass.
    Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
    General Issues > Structure of Theories
    General Issues > Theory Change
    General Issues > Theory/Observation
    Specific Sciences > Chemistry
    Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
    Specific Sciences > Physics
    General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
    General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
    General Issues > Logical Positivism/Logical Empiricism
    Conferences and Volumes: [2008] Theoretical Frameworks and Empirical Underdetermination Workshop (Düsseldorf April 10-12, 2008)
    Depositing User: Ioannis Votsis
    Date Deposited: 28 May 2009
    Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 11:18
    Item ID: 4662
    URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/4662

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