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  1. John Beatty (1980). What's Wrong with the Received View of Evolutionary Theory? PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1980:397 - 426.
    Much if not most recent literature in philosophy of biology concerns the extent to which biological theories conform to what is known as the "received" philosophical view of scientific theories, a descendant of the logical-empiricist view of theories. But the received view currently faces a competitor--a very different view of theories known as the "semantic" view. It is argued here that the semantic view is more sensitive to the nature and limitations of evolutionary theory than is the received view. In (...)
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  2. Yann Benétreau-Dupin (2011). An Empiricist Criterion of Meaning. South African Journal of Philosophy 30 (2):95-108.
    The meaning of scientific propositions is not always expressible in terms of observable phenomena. Such propositions involve generalizations, and also terms that are theoretical constructs. I study here how to assess the meaning of scientific propositions, that is, the specific import of theoretical terms. Empiricists have expressed a concern that scientific propositions, and theoretical terms, should always be, to some degree, related to observable consequences. We can see that the former empiricist criterion of meaning only implies for theoretical terms not (...)
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  3. John Bickle (1993). Connectionism, Eliminativism, and the Semantic View of Theories. Erkenntnis 39 (3):359-382.
    Recently some philosophers have urged that connectionist artificial intelligence is (potentially) eliminative for the propositional attitudes of folk psychology. At the same time, however, these philosophers have also insisted that since philosophy of science has failed to provide criteria distinguishing ontologically retentive from eliminative theory changes, the resulting eliminativism is not principled. Application of some resources developed within the semantic view of scientific theories, particularly recent formal work on the theory reduction relation, reveals these philosophers to be wrong in this (...)
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  4. Anjan Chakravartty (2001). The Semantic or Model-Theoretic View of Theories and Scientific Realism. Synthese 127 (3):325 - 345.
    The semantic view of theoriesis one according to which theoriesare construed as models of their linguisticformulations. The implications of thisview for scientific realism have been little discussed. Contraryto the suggestion of various champions of the semantic view,it is argued that this approach does not makesupport for a plausible scientific realism anyless problematic than it might otherwise be.Though a degree of independence of theory fromlanguage may ensure safety frompitfalls associated with logical empiricism, realism cannot be entertained unless models or (abstractedand/or idealized) (...)
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  5. Gabriele Contessa (2006). Scientific Models, Partial Structures and the New Received View of Theories. [REVIEW] Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 37 (2):370-377.
  6. Newton da Costa & Steven French (2000). Models, Theories, and Structures: Thirty Years On. Philosophy of Science 67 (3):127.
    Thirty years after the conference that gave rise to The Structure of Scientific Theories, there is renewed interest in the nature of theories and models. However, certain crucial issues from thirty years ago are reprised in current discussions; specifically: whether the diversity of models in the science can be captured by some unitary account; and whether the temporal dimension of scientific practice can be represented by such an account. After reviewing recent developments we suggest that these issues can be accommodated (...)
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  7. Marc Ereshefsky (1991). The Semantic Approach to Evolutionary Theory. Biology and Philosophy 6 (1):59-80.
    Paul Thompson, John Beatty, and Elisabeth Lloyd argue that attempts to resolve certain conceptual issues within evolutionary biology have failed because of a general adherence to the received view of scientific theories. They maintain that such issues can be clarified and resolved when one adopts a semantic approach to theories. In this paper, I argue that such conceptual issues are just as problematic on a semantic approach. Such issues arise from the complexity involved in providing formal accounts of theoretical laws (...)
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  8. Steven French & James Ladyman (1999). Reinflating the Semantic Approach. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 13 (2):103 – 121.
    The semantic, or model-theoretic, approach to theories has recently come under criticism on two fronts: (i) it is claimed that it cannot account for the wide diversity of models employed in scientific practice—a claim which has led some to propose a “deflationary” account of models; (ii) it is further contended that the sense of “model” used by the approach differs from that given in model theory. Our aim in the present work is to articulate a possible response to these claims, (...)
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  9. Steven French & Juha Saatsi (2006). Realism About Structure: The Semantic View and Nonlinguistic Representations. Philosophy of Science 73 (5):548-559.
    The central concern of this article is whether the semantic approach has the resources to appropriately capture the core tenets of structural realism. Chakravartty (2001) has argued that a realist notion of correspondence cannot be accommodated without introducing a linguistic component, which undermines the approach itself. We suggest that this worry can be addressed by an appropriate understanding of the role of language in this context. The real challenge, however, is how to incorporate the core notion of `explanatory approximate truth' (...)
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  10. Steven French & Juha Saatsi (2006). Realism About Structure: The Semantic View and Nonlinguistic Representations. Philosophy of Science 73 (5):548-559.
    The central concern of this paper is whether the Semantic Approach to theories has the resources to appropriately capture the core tenets of structural realism. Chakravartty, for example, has argued that a realist notion of correspondence cannot be accommodated without introducing a linguistic component which undermines the Approach itself. We suggest first of all, that this worry can be addressed by an appropriate understanding of the role of language with respect to the Semantic Approach. Secondly, we argue that an appropriately (...)
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  11. Roman Frigg, Models and Representation: Why Structures Are Not Enough.
    Models occupy a central role in the scientific endeavour. Among the many purposes they serve, representation is of great importance. Many models are representations of something else; they stand for, depict, or imitate a selected part of the external world (often referred to as target system, parent system, original, or prototype). Well-known examples include the model of the solar system, the billiard ball model of a gas, the Bohr model of the atom, the Gaussian-chain model of a polymer, the MIT (...)
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  12. Roman Frigg (2006). Scientific Representation and the Semantic View of Theories. Theoria 21 (1):49-65.
    It is now part and parcel of the official philosophical wisdom that models are essential to the acquisition and organisation of scientific knowledge. It is also generally accepted that most models represent their target systems in one way or another. But what does it mean for a model to represent its target system? I begin by introducing three conundrums that a theory of scientific representation has to come to terms with and then address the question of whether the semantic view (...)
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  13. Santiago Ginnobili (2004). Desarrollos actuales de la metateoría estructuralista: Problemas y discusiones. [REVIEW] Análisis Filosófico 24 (1):111-113.
    Un aspecto poco estudiado del argumento de Michael Sandel en contra del carácter neutral de la justicia como equidad, es el modo en que funda sus conclusiones en el entendimiento que tiene de otros tres aspectos de la concepción rawlsiana de justicia: su carácter deontológico, el equilibrio reflexivo, y la posición original. Nuestro objetivo es mostrar que Sandel no ha cometido cuatro errores independientes, sino que poseer un entendimiento equivocado del carácter deontológico de la teoría lo ha llevado a caracterizar (...)
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  14. Hans Halvorson (2013). The Semantic View, If Plausible, Is Syntactic. Philosophy of Science 80 (3):475-478.
  15. Hans Halvorson (2012). What Scientific Theories Could Not Be. Philosophy of Science 79 (2):183-206.
    According to the semantic view of scientific theories, theories are classes of models. I show that this view -- if taken seriously as a formal explication -- leads to absurdities. In particular, this view equates theories that are truly distinct, and it distinguishes theories that are truly equivalent. Furthermore, the semantic view lacks the resources to explicate interesting theoretical relations, such as embeddability of one theory into another. The untenability of the semantic view -- as currently formulated -- threatens to (...)
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  16. Robin F. Hendry & Stathis Psillos (2007). How to Do Things with Theories: An Interactive View of Language and Models in Science. In Jerzy Brzeziński, Andrzej Klawiter, Theo A. F. Kuipers, Krzysztof Łastowski, Katarzyna Paprzycka & Piotr Przybysz (eds.), The Courage of Doing Philosophy: Essays Dedicated to Leszek Nowak. Rodopi. 123--157.
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  17. Barbara L. Horan (1986). Sociobiology and the Semantic View of Theories. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1986:322 - 330.
    The semantic view of scientific theories has been defended as more adequate than the "received" view, especially with respect to biological theories. However, the semantic view has not been evaluated on its own terms. In this paper it is first shown how the theory of sociobiology propounded by E.O. Wilson can be understood on the semantic approach. The criticism that Wilson's theory is beset by the problem of unreliable generalizations is discussed. It is suggested that this problem results from the (...)
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  18. Colin Klein (2013). Multiple Realizability and the Semantic View of Theories. Philosophical Studies 163 (3):683-695.
    Multiply realizable properties are those whose realizers are physically diverse. It is often argued that theories which contain them are ipso facto irreducible. These arguments assume that physical explanations are restricted to the most specific descriptions possible of physical entities. This assumption is descriptively false, and philosophically unmotivated. I argue that it is a holdover from the late positivist axiomatic view of theories. A semantic view of theories, by contrast, correctly allows scientific explanations to be couched in the most perspicuous, (...)
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  19. Tarja Knuuttila (2011). Scientific Models in Philosophy of Science. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 24 (4):437-440.
    Scientists have used models for hundreds of years as a means of describing phenomena and as a basis for further analogy. In Scientific Models in Philosophy of Science, Daniela Bailer-Jones assembles an original and comprehensive philosophical analysis of how models have been used and interpreted in both historical and contemporary contexts. Bailer-Jones delineates the many forms models can take (ranging from equations to animals; from physical objects to theoretical constructs), and how they are put to use. She examines early mechanical (...)
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  20. Décio Krause & Otávio Bueno (2007). Scientific Theories, Models, and the Semantic Approach. Principia 11 (2):187-201.
    According to the semantic view, a theory is characterized by a class of mod- els. In this paper, we examine critically some of the assumptions that underlie this approach. First, we recall that models are models of something. Thus we cannot leave completely aside the axiomatization of the theories under consider- ation, nor can we ignore the metamathematics used to elaborate these models, for changes in the metamathematics often impose restrictions on the resulting models. Second, based on a parallel between (...)
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  21. James A. T. Lancaster (2011). The Semantic Structure of Evolutionary Biology as an Argument Against Intelligent Design. Zygon 46 (1):26-46.
    Abstract. This paper examines the impact of two formalizations of evolutionary biology on the antiselectionist critiques of the Intelligent Design (ID) movement. It looks first at attempts to apply the syntactic framework of the physical sciences to biology in the twentieth century, and to their effect upon the ID movement. It then examines the more heuristic account of biological-theory structure, namely, the semantic model. Finally, it concludes by advocating the semantic conception and emphasizing the problems that the semantic model creates (...)
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  22. Chuang Liu, Fictional Models in Science.
    In this paper, I begin with a discussion of Giere’s recent work arguing against taking models as works of fiction. I then move on to explore a spectrum of scientific models that goes from the obviously fictional to the not so obviously fictional. And then I discuss the modeling of the unobservable and make a case for the idea that despite difficulties of defining them, unobservable systems are modeled in a fundamentally different way than the observable systems. While idealization and (...)
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  23. Chuang Liu (1997). Models and Theories I: The Semantic View Revisited. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 11 (2):147 – 164.
    The paper, as Part I of a two-part series, argues for a hybrid formulation of the semantic view of scientific theories. For stage-setting, it first reviews the elements of the model theory in mathematical logic (on whose foundation the semantic view rests), the syntactic and the semantic view, and the different notions of models used in the practice of science. The paper then argues for an integration of the notions into the semantic view, and thereby offers a hybrid semantic view, (...)
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  24. Elisabeth A. Lloyd (1984). A Semantic Approach to the Structure of Population Genetics. Philosophy of Science 51 (2):242-264.
    A precise formulation of the structure of modern evolutionary theory has proved elusive. In this paper, I introduce and develop a formal approach to the structure of population genetics, evolutionary theory's most developed sub-theory. Under the semantic approach, used as a framework in this paper, presenting a theory consists in presenting a related family of models. I offer general guidelines and examples for the classification of population genetics models; the defining features of the models are taken to be their state (...)
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  25. Sebastian Lutz, Empirical Adequacy in the Received View.
    I show that the central notion of Constructive Empiricism, empirical adequacy, can be expressed syntactically and specifically in the Received View of the logical empiricists. The formalization shows that the Received View is superior to Constructive Empiricism in the treatment of theories involving unobservable objects or functions from observable to unobserv- able objects. It also suggests a formalization of ‘full empirical informative- ness’ in Constructive Empiricism.
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  26. Sebastian Lutz, The Semantics of Scientific Theories.
    Marian Przełęcki’s semantics for the Received View is a good explication of Carnap’s position on the subject, anticipates many discussions and results from both proponents and opponents of the Received View, and can be the basis for a thriving research program.
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  27. Sebastian Lutz (2014). What's Right with a Syntactic Approach to Theories and Models? Erkenntnis:1-18.
    Syntactic approaches in the philosophy of science, which are based on formalizations in predicate logic, are often considered in principle inferior to semantic approaches, which are based on formalizations with the help of structures. To compare the two kinds of approach, I identify some ambiguities in common semantic accounts and explicate the concept of a structure in a way that avoids hidden references to a specific vocabulary. From there, I argue that contrary to common opinion (i) unintended models do not (...)
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  28. James Mattingly (2005). The Structure of Scientific Theory Change: Models Versus Privileged Formulations. Philosophy of Science 72 (2):365-389.
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  29. Not By Me (1983). The Structure of Evolutionary Theory: A Semantic Approach. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 14 (3):215-229.
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  30. Boaz Miller (2012). The Rationality Principle Idealized. Social Epistemology 26 (1):3-30.
    According to Popper's rationality principle, agents act in the most adequate way according to the objective situation. I propose a new interpretation of the rationality principle as consisting of an idealization and two abstractions. Based on this new interpretation, I critically discuss the privileged status that Popper ascribes to it as an integral part of all social scientific models. I argue that as an idealization, the rationality principle may play an important role in the social sciences, but it also has (...)
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  31. Thomas Mormann (1995). Incompatible Empirically Equivalent Theories: A Structural Explication. Synthese 103 (2):203 - 249.
    The thesis of the empirical underdetermination of theories (U-thesis) maintains that there are incompatible theories which are empirically equivalent. Whether this is an interesting thesis depends on how the term incompatible is understood. In this paper a structural explication is proposed. More precisely, the U-thesis is studied in the framework of the model theoretic or emantic approach according to which theories are not to be taken as linguistic entities, but rather as families of mathematical structures. Theories of similarity structures are (...)
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  32. T. Parent, Content Externalism and Quine's Criterion Are Incompatible.
    Externalism holds that the content of our utterances and thoughts are determined partly by the environment. Here, I offer an argument which suggests that externalism is incompatible with a natural view about ontological commitment--namely, the Quinean view that such commitments are fixed by the range of the variables in your theory. The idea in brief is that if Oscar mistakenly believes that water = XYZ, the externalist ontologically commits Oscar to two waterish kinds, whereas the Quinean commits him to one (...)
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  33. Lydia Patton (2009). Signs, Toy Models, and the A Priori. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 40 (3):281-289.
    The Marburg neo-Kantians argue that Hermann von Helmholtz's empiricist account of the a priori does not account for certain knowledge, since it is based on a psychological phenomenon, trust in the regularities of nature. They argue that Helmholtz's account raises the 'problem of validity' (Gueltigkeitsproblem): how to establish a warranted claim that observed regularities are based on actual relations. I reconstruct Heinrich Hertz's and Ludwig Wittgenstein's Bild theoretic answer to the problem of validity: that scientists and philosophers can depict the (...)
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  34. Isabelle Peschard (2007). The Value(s) of a Story: Theories, Models and Cognitive Values. Principia 11 (2):151-169.
    This paper aims 1) to introduce the notion of theoretical story as a resource and source of constraint for the construction and assessment of models of phenomena; 2) to show the relevance of this notion for a better understanding of the role and nature of values in scientific activity. The reflection on the role of values and value judgments in scientific activity should be attentive, I will argue, to the distinction between models and the theoretical story that guides and constrains (...)
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  35. Demetris P. Portides (2005). Scientific Models and the Semantic View of Scientific Theories. Philosophy of Science 72 (5):1287-1298.
    I argue against the conception of scientific models advocated by the proponents of the Semantic View of scientific theories. Part of the paper is devoted to clarifying the important features of the scientific modeling view that the Semantic conception entails. The liquid drop model of nuclear structure is analyzed in conjunction with the particular auxiliary hypothesis that is the guiding force behind its construction and it is argued that it does not meet the necessary features to render it a model (...)
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  36. Rainer Reisenzein (2000). Wundt's Three-Dimensional Theory of Emotion. In W. Balzer, J. D. Sneed & C. U. Moulines (eds.), Structuralist Knowledge Representation: Paradigmatic Examples (Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities, 75, 219-250). Rodopi. 75--219.
    ABSTRACT. This chapter presents a reconstruction of Wilhelm Wundt's (1896) three-dimensional theory of emotion from the perspective of the structuralist approach to scientific theories. Wundt's theory, a quantitative theory of the structure of emotional experience, is reconstructed as a small theory-net consisting of the basic theory-element TE(WUNDT) and specializations of this element. The main substantive axiom of TE(WUNDT) postulates that human emotions result from the fusion of a characteristic 'mixture' of six basic forms of feeling: Pleasure, displeasure, excitement, inhibition (tranquillization), (...)
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  37. Peter B. Sloep & Wim J. Steen (1987). The Nature of Evolutionary Theory: The Semantic Challenge. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 2 (1):1-15.
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  38. Mauricio Suárez & Nancy Cartwright (2007). Theories: Tools Versus Models. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 39 (1):62-81.
    In “The Toolbox of Science” (1995) together with Towfic Shomar we advocated a form of instrumentalism about scientific theories. We separately developed this view further in a number of subsequent works. Steven French, James Ladyman, Otavio Bueno and Newton Da Costa (FLBD) have since written at least eight papers and a book criticising our work. Here we defend ourselves. First we explain what we mean in denying that models derive from theory – and why their failure to do so should (...)
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  39. Frederick Suppe (2000). Understanding Scientific Theories: An Assessment of Developments, 1969-1998. Philosophy of Science 67 (3):115.
    The positivistic Received View construed scientific theories syntactically as axiomatic calculi where theoretical terms were given a partial semantic interpretation via correspondence rules connecting them to observation statements. This paper assesses what, with hindsight, seem the most important defects in the Received View; surveys the main proposed successor analyses to the Received View--various Semantic Conception versions and the Structuralist Analysis; evaluates how well they avoid those defects; examines what new problems they face and where the most promising require further development (...)
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  40. Frederick Suppe (ed.) (1974). The Structure of Scientific Theories. Urbana,University of Illinois Press.
    Suppe, F. The search for philosophic understanding of scientific theories (p. [1]-241)--Proceedings of the symposium.--Bibliography, compiled by Rew A. Godow, Jr. (p. [615]-646).
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  41. Frederick Suppe (1972). What's Wrong with the Received View on the Structure of Scientific Theories? Philosophy of Science 39 (1):1-19.
    Achinstein, Putnam, and others have urged the rejection of the received view on theories (which construes theories as axiomatic calculi where theoretical terms are given partial observational interpretations by correspondence rules) because (i) the notion of partial interpretation cannot be given precise formulation, and (ii) the observational-theoretical distinction cannot be drawn satisfactorily. I try to show that these are the wrong reasons for rejecting the received view since (i) is false and it is virtually impossible to demonstrate the truth of (...)
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  42. Paul Thomson (1987). A Defence of the Semantic Conception of Evolutionary Theory. Biology and Philosophy 2 (1):26-32.
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  43. Martin Thomson-Jones (2006). Models and the Semantic View. Philosophy of Science 73 (5):524-535.
    I begin by distinguishing two notions of model, the notion of a truth-making structure and the notion of a mathematical model (in one specific sense). I then argue that although the models of the semantic view have often been taken to be both truth-making structures and mathematical models, this is in part due to a failure to distinguish between two ways of truth-making; in fact, the talk of truth-making is best excised from the view altogether. The result is a version (...)
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  44. Peter Turney (1990). Embeddability, Syntax, and Semantics in Accounts of Scientific Theories. Journal of Philosophical Logic 19 (4):429 - 451.
    Recently several philosophers of science have proposed what has come to be known as the semantic account of scientific theories. It is presented as an improvement on the positivist account, which is now called the syntactic account of scientific theories. Bas van Fraassen claims that the syntactic account does not give a satisfactory definition of "empirical adequacy" and "empirical equivalence". He contends that his own semantic account does define these notations acceptably, through the concept of "embeddability", a concept which he (...)
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  45. Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther (forthcoming). The Structure of Scientific Theories. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Scientific inquiry has led to immense explanatory and technological successes, partly as a result of the pervasiveness of scientific theories. Relativity theory, evolutionary theory, and plate tectonics were, and continue to be, wildly successful families of theories within physics, biology, and geology. Other powerful theory clusters inhabit comparatively recent disciplines such as cognitive science, climate science, molecular biology, microeconomics, and Geographic Information Science (GIS). Effective scientific theories magnify understanding, help supply legitimate explanations, and assist in formulating predictions. Moving from their (...)
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  46. Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther (2012). Interweaving Categories: Styles, Paradigms, and Models. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, Part A 43 (4):628-639.
    Analytical categories of scientific cultures have typically been used both exclusively and universally. For instance, when /styles of scientific research/ are employed in attempts to understand and narrate science, styles alone are usually employed. This article is a thought experiment in interweaving categories. What would happen if rather than employ a single category, we instead investigated several categories simultaneously? What would we learn about the practices and theories, the agents and materials, and the political-technological impact of science if we analyzed (...)
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  47. Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther (2012). Mathematical Modeling in Biology: Philosophy and Pragmatics. Frontiers in Plant Evolution and Development 2012:1-3.
    Philosophy can shed light on mathematical modeling and the juxtaposition of modeling and empirical data. This paper explores three philosophical traditions of the structure of scientific theory—Syntactic, Semantic, and Pragmatic—to show that each illuminates mathematical modeling. The Pragmatic View identifies four critical functions of mathematical modeling: (1) unification of both models and data, (2) model fitting to data, (3) mechanism identification accounting for observation, and (4) prediction of future observations. Such facets are explored using a recent exchange between two groups (...)
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