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Criteria of Empirical Significance: A Success Story

Lutz, Sebastian (2013) Criteria of Empirical Significance: A Success Story. [Preprint]

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Abstract

The sheer multitude of criteria of empirical significance has been taken as evidence that the pre-analytic notion being explicated is too vague to be useful. I show instead that a significant number of these criteria—by Ayer, Popper, Przełęcki, Suppes, and David Lewis, among others—not only form a coherent whole, but also connect directly to the theory of definition, the notion of empirical content as explicated by Ramsey sentences, and the theory of measurement; a criterion by Carnap is trivial, but can be saved and connected to the other criteria by slight modifications. A corollary is that the ordinary language defense of Lewis, the conceptual arguments by Ayer and Popper, the theoretical considerations by Przełęcki, and the practical considerations by Suppes all apply to the same criterion or closely related criteria. The equivalences of some criteria allows for their individual justifications to be taken cumulatively and suggest a variety of further lines of inquiry, for instance into analyticity and empirical equivalence. The inferential relations between the non-equivalent criteria suggest comparative notions of empirical significance. In a short case study, I discuss the debate about realism, structural realism, and antirealism.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Lutz, Sebastiansebastian.lutz@gmx.net
Keywords: empirical significance; cognitive significance; testability; meaningfulness; empirical content; definition; measurement; falsifiability; verifiability; aboutness; supervenience; empirical equivalence; realism; structural realism; antirealism
Subjects: General Issues > Conventionalism
General Issues > Logical Positivism/Logical Empiricism
General Issues > Operationalism/Instrumentalism
General Issues > Science vs. Pseudoscience
General Issues > Structure of Theories
General Issues > Theory/Observation
Depositing User: Sebastian Lutz
Date Deposited: 29 Mar 2013 13:24
Last Modified: 29 Mar 2013 13:24
Item ID: 9649
Subjects: General Issues > Conventionalism
General Issues > Logical Positivism/Logical Empiricism
General Issues > Operationalism/Instrumentalism
General Issues > Science vs. Pseudoscience
General Issues > Structure of Theories
General Issues > Theory/Observation
Date: 27 March 2013
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/9649

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