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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 07:29
    Last Modified: 06 Jul 2011 07:29
    Item ID: 8702

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