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Theory Eliminativism as a Methodological Tool

Vickers, Peter (2011) Theory Eliminativism as a Methodological Tool. [Preprint]

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    Abstract

    Disagreements about the definition, nature, structure, ontology, and content of scientific theories are at least partly responsible for disagreements in other debates in the philosophy of science. I argue that available theories of theories and conceptual analyses of *theory* are ineffectual options for overcoming this difficulty. Directing my attention to debates about the properties of particular, named theories, I introduce ‘theory eliminativism’ as a certain type of debate-reformulation. As a methodological tool it has the potential to be a highly effective way to make real progress in the face of the noted problem. After the recommended reformulation questions of genuine importance to philosophy of science can still be asked and answered, but now without any possibility of disagreements about ‘theories’ compromising the debate.


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    Item Type: Preprint
    Keywords: theory, theories, eliminativism, quietism, philosophical methodology, conceptual analysis, pluralism
    Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
    General Issues > Structure of Theories
    Depositing User: Dr Peter Vickers
    Date Deposited: 26 Jan 2011 07:06
    Last Modified: 26 Jan 2011 07:06
    Item ID: 8472
    URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/8472

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