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What scientific theories could not be

Halvorson, Hans (2011) What scientific theories could not be. [Preprint]

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According to the semantic view of scientific theories, theories are classes of models. I show that this view -- if taken seriously as a formal explication -- leads to absurdities. In particular, this view equates theories that are truly distinct, and it distinguishes theories that are truly equivalent. Furthermore, the semantic view lacks the resources to explicate interesting theoretical relations, such as embeddability of one theory into another. The untenability of the semantic view -- as currently formulated -- threatens to undermine scientific structuralism.

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Item Type: Preprint
Keywords: semantic view of theories, received view, constructive empiricism
Subjects: General Issues > Structure of Theories
Depositing User: Hans Halvorson
Date Deposited: 20 May 2011 06:35
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2011 20:03
Item ID: 8615
Subjects: General Issues > Structure of Theories
Date: 18 May 2011

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