David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 10 (1):119-140 (1979)
Scientific theories are analyzed in terms of the role that they play in science rather than in terms of their logical structure. It is maintained that theories: provide descriptions of the fundamental features of their domains; on the basis of 1, explain non-fundamental features of their domains; provide a guide for further research in their domains. Any set of propositions that carries out these functions with respect to some domain counts as a theory. This view of theories is developed and defended, and provides the basis for reconsidering a number of issues in the philisophy of science. It is argued that theories need not be unrestrictedly universal with respect to space and time; that the distinction between observable and theoretical entities fails because observables do function as theoretical entities in scientific theories, that there is no genuine philosophical problem of reduction; that the notion of "levels" can be replaced by the notion of "domains"; and that theories are the basic unit of scientific knowledge
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References found in this work BETA
Imre Lakatos & Alan Musgrave (eds.) (1970). Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge. Cambridge University Press.
Thomas S. Kuhn (1996). The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. University of Chicago Press.
K. R. Popper (1966). Conjectures and Refutations. Les Etudes Philosophiques 21 (3):431-434.
Ernest Nagel (1961). The Structure of Science: Problems in the Logic of Scientific Explanation. Harcourt, Brace & World.
Carl Gustav Hempel (1965). Aspects of Scientific Explanation. In Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. Free Press 504.
Citations of this work BETA
Hans P. W. Vermeeren (1986). Controversies and Existence Claims in Chemistry: The Theory of Resonance. Synthese 69 (3):273-290.
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