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Scientific Polysemy, Semantic Detoxification, and Sophisticated Operationalism

Jalloh, Mahmoud (2022) Scientific Polysemy, Semantic Detoxification, and Sophisticated Operationalism. UNSPECIFIED.

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Abstract

Two commonplace phenomena of scientific practice have been taken to challenge operationalism. I provide a version of operationalism that, in fact, explains these phenomena: scientific polysemy and semantic detoxification. Scientific polysemy is generated by cases of semantic extension: the extension of the usage of old terminology in new theoretical or experimental regimes. The changes in the usage of that terminology result in polysemy. Semantic detoxification follows semantic extension's resultant polysemy; it is a reconciliation of novel and past usages. The new usage takes priority over older uses in the novel context, correcting and circumscribing old usages in their native contexts. Focusing on the case of quantity terms, I present a holist operationalism that explains both phenomena: Multiple meanings arise because of differences in the relation of some quantity to other quantities; Multiple meanings are unified into one term because the functional roles determined by these meanings all share analogous positions in the different contexts, specified by the quantity dimension.


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Item Type: Other
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Jalloh, Mahmoudmahmoudtimbojalloh@gmail.com0000-0001-8511-9294
Additional Information: This project, in this form, is likely to be abandoned. Successor papers will be linked accordingly. Feel free to cite or contact the author for discussion.
Keywords: quantity, dimension, holism, operationalism, operationism, polysemy, semantics, explication
Subjects: General Issues > Natural Kinds
General Issues > Operationalism/Instrumentalism
General Issues > Theory Change
Depositing User: Mahmoud Jalloh
Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2022 00:35
Last Modified: 19 Feb 2022 00:35
Item ID: 20230
Subjects: General Issues > Natural Kinds
General Issues > Operationalism/Instrumentalism
General Issues > Theory Change
Date: February 2022
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/20230

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