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Scientific Theories

Halvorson, Hans (2015) Scientific Theories. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Since the beginning of the 20th century, philosophers of science have asked, "what kind of thing is a scientific theory?" The logical positivists answered: a scientific theory is a mathematical theory, plus an empirical interpretation of that theory. Moreover, they assumed that a mathematical theory is specified by a set of axioms in a formal language. Later 20th century philosophers questioned this account, arguing instead that a scientific theory need not include a mathematical component; or that the mathematical component need not be specified by a set of axioms in a formal language. We survey various accounts of scientific theories entertained in the 20th century -- removing some misconceptions, and clearing a path for future research.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Halvorson, Hanshhalvors@princeton.edu
Additional Information: Published version in The Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Science
Keywords: semantic view, syntactic view, received view, logical empiricism, Carnap, Suppes predicate, correspondence rules, partial interpretation, model theory, category theory
Subjects: General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
General Issues > Logical Positivism/Logical Empiricism
General Issues > Structure of Theories
General Issues > Theory/Observation
Depositing User: Hans Halvorson
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2015 01:20
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2015 01:20
Item ID: 11347
Subjects: General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
General Issues > Logical Positivism/Logical Empiricism
General Issues > Structure of Theories
General Issues > Theory/Observation
Date: 27 February 2015
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/11347

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