Collapse of the new wave

Journal of Philosophy 95 (2):53-72 (1998)
I critically evaluate the influential new wave account of theory reduction in science developed by Paul Churchland and Clifford Hooker. First, I cast doubt on claims that the new wave account enjoys a number of theoretical virtues over its competitors, such as the ability to represent how false theories are reduced by true theories. Second, I argue that the genuinely novel claim that a corrected theory must be specified entirely by terms from the basic reducing theory is in fact too restrictive for scientific practice and should be rejected. Basic theories co-evolve with nonbasic theories in a mutually interactive way, and thus the basic theories incorporate the concepts and concerns of nonbasic theories. Third, I show that once its ontological consequences are duly noted, the reductive part the new wave account collapses into the classical theory developed within the logical empiricist tradition. As such, it still falls prey to standard anti-reductionist argument based upon multiple realizability and the cross-classification of special science and physical science terms.
Keywords Theory Reduction  Churchland, P  Hooker, C
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI jphil199895226
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 15,831
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Christian Sachse & Michael Esfeld (2007). Theory Reduction by Means of Functional Sub-Types. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 21 (1):1-17.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

133 ( #14,809 of 1,724,748 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

101 ( #5,802 of 1,724,748 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.