The semantic approach to evolutionary theory

Biology and Philosophy 6 (1):59-80 (1991)
Abstract
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 and scientific explanations. That complexity is due to empirical and pragmatic considerations, not one's adherence to a particular formal approach to theories. This analysis raises a broader question. How can any formal account properly represent the complex nature of empirical phenomena?
Keywords Evolution  semantic approach  theory
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References found in this work BETA
Peter Achinstein (1968). Concepts of Science. Baltimore, Johns Hopkins Press.
John Beatty (1987). On Behalf of the Semantic View. Biology and Philosophy 2 (1):17-23.

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Citations of this work BETA
Soazig Le Bihan (2012). Defending the Semantic View: What It Takes. [REVIEW] European Journal for Philosophy of Science 2 (3):249-274.
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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.
Elisabeth A. Lloyd (1988). The Semantic Approach and Its Application to Evolutionary Theory. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1988:278 - 285.
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