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On the Propriety of Physical Theories as a Basis for Their Semantics

Curiel, Erik (2011) On the Propriety of Physical Theories as a Basis for Their Semantics. [Preprint]


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I argue that an adequate semantics for physical theories must be
grounded on an account of the way that a theory provides formal and
conceptual resources appropriate for---that have propriety in---the
construction of representations of the physical systems the theory
purports to treat. I sketch a precise, rigorous definition of the
required forms of propriety, and argue that semantic content accrues
to scientific representations of physical systems primarily in
virtue of the propriety of its resources. In particular, neither
the adequacy (soundness, accuracy, truth, \ldots) of those
representations nor any referential relations their terms may enter
into play any fundamental role in the determination of the
representation's semantic content. One consequence is that anything
like traditional Tarskian semantics is inadequate for the task.

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Item Type: Preprint
Keywords: scientific theories; scientific representation; semantics
Subjects: General Issues > Models and Idealization
General Issues > Structure of Theories
Depositing User: Dr. Erik Curiel
Date Deposited: 06 Jul 2011 11:29
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2011 11:29
Item ID: 8702

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