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  1. Robert J. Ackermann (1966). Confirmatory Models of Theories. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 16 (64):312-326.
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  2. Matthias Adam (2004). Why Worry About Theory-Dependence? Circularity, Minimal Empiricality and Reliability. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 18 (2 & 3):117 – 132.
    It is a widely shared view among philosophers of science that the theory-dependence (or theory-ladenness) of observations is worrying, because it can bias empirical tests in favour of the tested theories. These doubts are taken to be dispelled if an observation is influenced by a theory independent of the tested theory and thus circularity is avoided, while (partially) circular tests are taken to require special attention. Contrary to this consensus, it is argued that the epistemic value of theory-dependent tests has (...)
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  3. Michael D. Alder (1973). On Theories. Philosophy of Science 40 (2):213-226.
    An axiom set is given which purports to formalize the notion of a "theory involving measurement." The abstract objects satisfying these axioms are examined, and some candidates for measures of complexity are considered. This framework allows us to discuss some forms of a degree of confirmation. Both "complexity" and "degree of confirmation" appear to be intimately bound up with geometrical aspects of these "theories" which derive from measurement considerations, suggesting that the concepts may be inapplicable to more "general theories." The (...)
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  4. Peter Alexander (1958). Theory-Construction and Theory-Testing. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 9 (33):29-38.
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  5. Wolfgang Balzer & Carlos Ulises Moulines (eds.) (1996). Structuralist Theory of Science: Focal Issues, New Results. Walter De Gruyter.
  6. Wolfgang Balzer & Joseph D. Sneed (1978). Generalized Net Structures of Empirical Theories. II. Studia Logica 37 (2):167 - 194.
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  7. Wolfgang Balzer & Joseph D. Sneed (1977). Generalized Net Structures of Empirical Theories. I. Studia Logica 36 (3):195 - 211.
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  8. P. D. Magnus, What SPECIES Can Teach Us About THEORY.
    This paper argues against the common, often implicit view that theories are some specific kind of thing. Instead, I argue for theory concept pluralism: There are multiple distinct theory concepts which we legitimately use in different domains and for different purposes, and we should not expect this to change. The argument goes by analogy with species concept pluralism, a familiar position in philosophy of biology. I conclude by considering some consequences for philosophy of science if theory concept pluralism is correct.
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  9. Frederik A. Muller (2003). Refutability Revamped: How Quantum Mechanics Saves the Phenomena. Erkenntnis 58 (2):189 - 211.
    On the basis of the Suppes–Sneed structuralview of scientific theories, we take a freshlook at the concept of refutability,which was famously proposed by K.R. Popper in 1934 as a criterion for the demarcation of scientific theories from non-scientific ones, e.g., pseudo-scientificand metaphysical theories. By way of an introduction we argue that a clash between Popper and his critics on whether scientific theories are, in fact, refutablecan be partly explained by the fact Popper and his criticsascribed different meanings to the term (...)
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  10. Mark W. Risjord (2010). Nursing Knowledge: Science, Practice, and Philosophy. Wiley-Blackwell Pub..
    The final chapter of the book 'redraws the map', to create a new picture of nursing science based on the following principles: Problems of practice should guide ...
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  11. Gerhard Schurz (1990). Paradoxical Consequences of Balzer's and Gähde's Criteria of Theoreticity. Results of an Application to ten Scientific Theories. Erkenntnis 32 (2):161 - 214.
    It is shown that the criteria of T-theoreticity proposed by Balzer and Gähde lead to strongly counterintuitive and in this sense paradoxical results: most of the obviously empirical or at least nontheoretical terms come out as theoretical. This is demonstrated for a lot of theories in different areas. On the way, some improved and some new structuralist theory-reconstructions are given. The conclusion is drawn that the T-theoreticity of a term cannot possibly be proved on the basis of the mathematical structure (...)
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  12. Gerhard Schurz & Ioannis Votsis, A Preliminary Application of Frame-Theory to the Philosophy of Science: The Phlogiston-Oxygen Case.
    In the first part of this paper we investigate how scientific theories can be represented by frames. Different kinds of scientific theories can be distinguished in terms of the systematic power of their frames. In the second part we outline the central questions and goals of our research project. In the third and final part of this paper we show that frame-representation is a useful tool in the comparison of the theories of phlogiston and oxygen, despite those theories being traditionally (...)
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  13. Enrico Viola (2009). “Once Upon a Time” Philosophy of Science: Sts, Science Policy and the Semantic View of Scientific Theories. [REVIEW] Axiomathes 19 (4):465-480.
    Is a policy-friendly philosophy of science possible? In order to respond this question, I consider a particular instance of contemporary philosophy of science, the semantic view of scientific theories, by placing it in the broader methodological landscape of the integration of philosophy of science into STS (Science and Technology Studies) as a component of the overall contribution of the latter to science policy. In that context, I defend a multi-disciplinary methodological integration of the special discipline composing STS against a reductionist (...)
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The Received View of Theories
  1. Vadim Batitsky (2000). Measurement in Carnap's Late Philosophy of Science. Dialectica 54 (2):87–108.
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  2. 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.
  3. Hans Halvorson (2013). The Semantic View, If Plausible, Is Syntactic. Philosophy of Science 80 (3):475-478.
  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. Sebastian Lutz (2012). On a Straw Man in the Philosophy of Science: A Defense of the Received View. Hopos 2 (1):77–120.
    I defend the Received View on scientific theories as developed by Carnap, Hempel, and Feigl against a number of criticisms based on misconceptions. First, I dispute the claim that the Received View demands axiomatizations in first order logic, and the further claim that these axiomatizations must include axioms for the mathematics used in the scientific theories. Next, I contend that models are important according to the Received View. Finally, I argue against the claim that the Received View is intended to (...)
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  9. Philippe Mongin (1988). À la Recherche du Temps Perdu : Réponse a Mm. LaFleur, Rosenberg Et Salmon. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 18 (4):537-549.
    A rejoinder to commentators of the paper Le réalisme des hypothèses et la "Partial Interpretation View", which was published in the same journal.
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  10. Philippe Mongin (1988). Le Réalisme Des Hypothèses Et la Partial Interpretation View. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 18 (3):281-325.
    The article discusses Friedman's classic claim that economics can be based on irrealistic assumptions. It exploits Samuelson's distinction between two "F-twists" (that is, "it is an advantage for an economic theory to use irrealistic assumptions" vs "the more irrealistic the assumptions, the better the economic theory"), as well as Nagel's distinction between three philosophy-of-science construals of the basic claim. On examination, only one of Nagel's construals seems promising enough. It involves the neo-positivistic distinction between theoretical and non-theoretical ("observable") terms; so (...)
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  11. 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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  12. 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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  13. 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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  14. 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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  15. 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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Research Programs
  1. Joseph Agassi (1979). The Legacy of Lakatos. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 9 (3):316-326.
  2. Joseph Agassi (1976). The Lakatosian Revolution. In R. S. Cohen, P. K. Feyerabend & M. Wartofsky (eds.), Essays in Memory of Imre Lakatos. Reidel. 9--21.
  3. F. M. Akeroyd (1988). Research Programmes and Empirical Results. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 39 (1):51-58.
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  4. Guy S. Axtell (1993). In the Tracks of the Historicist Movement: Re-Assessing the Carnap-Kuhn Connection. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 24 (1):119-146.
    Thirty years after the publication of Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, sharp disagreement persists concerning the implications of Kuhn’s "historicist" challenge to empiricism. I discuss the historicist movement over the past thirty years, and the extent to which the discourse between two branches of the historical school has been influenced by tacit assumptions shared with Rudolf Carnap’s empiricism. I begin with an examination of Carnap’s logicism --his logic of science-- and his 1960 correspondence with Kuhn. I focus on (...)
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  5. Gerrit Balen (1987). Conceptual Tensions Between Theory and Program: The Chromosome Theory and the Mendelian Research Program. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 2 (4):435-461.
    Laudan's thesis that conceptual problem solving is at least as important as empirical problem solving in scientific research is given support by a study of the relation between the chromosome theory and the Mendelian research program. It will be shown that there existed a conceptual tension between the chromosome theory and the Mendelian program. This tension was to be resolved by changing the constraints of the Mendelian program. The relation between the chromosome theory and the Mendelian program is shown to (...)
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  6. Peter Barker (1980). Can Scientific History Repeat? PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1980:20 - 28.
    Although Kuhn, Lakatos and Laudan disagree on many points, these three widely accepted accounts of scientific growth do agree on certain key features of scientific revolutions. This minimal agreement is sufficient to place stringent restraints on the historical development of science. In particular it follows from the common features of their accounts that scientific history can never repeat. Using the term 'supertheory' to denote indifferently the large scale historical entitites employed in all three accounts, it is shown that a supertheory (...)
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  7. Steven Bartlett (1978). "Essays in Memory of Imre Lakatos," Ed. Robert S. Cohen, Paul K. Feyerabend, and Marx W. Wartofsky. Modern Schoolman 55 (3):292-294.
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  8. Kurt Bayertz (1991). Forschungsprogramm Und Wissenschaftsentwicklung. Journal for General Philosophy of Science 22 (2):229 - 243.
    Research Programme and Development of Science. For Imre Lakatos his methodology of scientific research programmes was not only a philosophical theory of science and scientific change but also the conceptual foundation of empirical and historical studies of science. At least terminologically this view is today widely accepted: The concept of a research programme is used in all sorts of literature on science. In the present paper I argue that this concept can lead to serious distortions of empirical and historical studies (...)
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  9. Kurt Bayertz (1991). Forschungsprogramm Und WissenschaftsentwicklungResearch Programme and Development of Science. Journal for General Philosophy of Science 22 (2):229-243.
    Summary For Imre Lakatos hismethodology of scientific research programmes was not only a philosophical theory of science and scientific change but also the conceptual foundation of empirical and historical studies of science. At least terminologically this view is today widely accepted: The concept of aresearch programme is used in all sorts of literature on science. In the present paper I argue that this concept can lead to serious distortions of empirical and historical studies of science if it is not detached (...)
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  10. Jesús P. Zamora Bonilla (2002). Verisimilitude and the Dynamics of Scientific Research Programmes. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 33 (2):349 - 368.
    Some peculiarities of the evaluation of theories within scientific research programmes (SRPs) and of the assessing of rival SRPs are described assuming that scientists try to maximise an 'epistemic utility function' under economic and institutional constraints. Special attention is given to Lakatos' concepts of 'empirical progress' and 'theoretical progress'. A notion of 'empirical verisimilitude' is defended as an appropriate utility function. The neologism 'methodonomics' is applied to this kind of studies.
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  11. Richard S. Briggs (2009). The Methodology of Hermeneutical Research Programmes in Biblical Studies: Some Insights From the Work of Imre Lakatos. Heythrop Journal 50 (1):109-115.
  12. L. Jonathan Cohen (1979). Philosophical Papers By Imre Lakatos Edited by John Worrall and Gregory Currie Vol. I, The Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes, Viii + 250 Pp., £9.00 Vol. II, Mathematics, Science and Epistemology, X + 286 Pp., £10.50 Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1978. [REVIEW] Philosophy 54 (208):247-.
  13. R. S. Cohen, P. K. Feyerabend & M. Wartofsky (eds.) (1976). Essays in Memory of Imre Lakatos. Reidel.
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  14. Richard P. Cooper (2006). Cognitive Architectures as Lakatosian Research Programs: Two Case Studies. Philosophical Psychology 19 (2):199-220.
    Cognitive architectures - task-general theories of the structure and function of the complete cognitive system - are sometimes argued to be more akin to frameworks or belief systems than scientific theories. The argument stems from the apparent non-falsifiability of existing cognitive architectures. Newell was aware of this criticism and argued that architectures should be viewed not as theories subject to Popperian falsification, but rather as Lakatosian research programs based on cumulative growth. Newell's argument is undermined because he failed to demonstrate (...)
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  15. Gregory Currie (1980). The Role of Normative Assumptions in Historical Explanation. Philosophy of Science 47 (3):456-473.
    This paper concerns the problem of how to give historical explanations of scientist's decisions to prefer one theory over another. It is argued that such explanations ought to contain only statements about the beliefs and preferences of the agents involved, and, in particular, ought not to include evaluative premises about the theories themselves. It is argued that Lakatos's attempt to build into such historical explanations premises of an evaluative kind is deficient. The arguments of Laudan to the effect that such (...)
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  16. James T. Cushing (1982). Models and Methodologies in Current Theoretical High-Energy Physics. Synthese 50 (1):5 - 101.
    A case study of the development of quantum field theory and of S-matrix theory, from their inceptions to the present, is presented. The descriptions of science given by Kuhn and by Lakatos are compared and contrasted as they apply to this case study. The episodes of the developments of these theories are then considered as candidates for competing research programs in Lakatos' methodology of scientific research programs. Lakatos' scheme provides a reasonable overall description and a plausible assessment of the relative (...)
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  17. Gene D'Amour (1976). Research Programs, Rationality, and Ethics. In R. S. Cohen, P. K. Feyerabend & M. Wartofsky (eds.), Essays in Memory of Imre Lakatos. Reidel. 87--98.
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  18. Corfield David (1998). Beyond the Methodology of Mathematics Research Programmes. Philosophia Mathematica 6 (3):272-301.
    In this paper I assess the obstacles to a transfer of Lakatos's methodology of scientific research programmes to mathematics. I argue that, if we are to use something akin to this methodology to discuss modern mathematics with its interweaving theoretical development, we shall require a more intricate construction and we shall have to move still further away from seeing mathematical knowledge as a collection of statements. I also examine the notion of rivalry within mathematics and claim that this appears to (...)
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  19. Jon Dorling (1979). Bayesian Personalism, the Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes, and Duhem's Problem. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 10 (3):177-187.
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  20. David P. Ericson (1979). Response to Phillips and Nicolayev: Kohlberg's "Research Program". Educational Theory 29 (4):345-348.
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  21. Paul Feyerabend (1981). Problems of Empiricism. Cambridge University Press.
    Over the past thirty years Paul Feyerabend has developed an extremely distinctive and influentical approach to problems in the philosophy of science. The most important and seminal of his published essays are collected here in two volumes, with new introductions to provide an overview and historical perspective on the discussions of each part. Volume 1 presents papers on the interpretation of scientific theories, together with papers applying the views developed to particular problems in philosophy and physics. The essays in volume (...)
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  22. Maurice A. Finocchiaro (1973). Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 3 (4):357-372.
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