Theory change as dimensional change: conceptual spaces applied to the dynamics of empirical theories
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Synthese 190 (6):1039-1058 (2013)
This paper offers a novel way of reconstructing conceptual change in empirical theories. Changes occur in terms of the structure of the dimensions—that is to say, the conceptual spaces—underlying the conceptual framework within which a given theory is formulated. Five types of changes are identified: (1) addition or deletion of special laws, (2) change in scale or metric, (3) change in the importance of dimensions, (4) change in the separability of dimensions, and (5) addition or deletion of dimensions. Given this classification, the conceptual development of empirical theories becomes more gradual and rationalizable. Only the most extreme type—replacement of dimensions—comes close to a revolution. The five types are exemplified and applied in a case study on the development within physics from the original Newtonian mechanics to special relativity theory
|Keywords||Conceptual spaces Dimensional analysis Incommensurability Newtonian mechanics Scientific revolution Special relativity theory Theory change|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
Thomas S. Kuhn (1996/2012). The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. University of Chicago Press.
Thomas S. Kuhn (1962). The Structure of Scientific Revolutions Vol. The University of Chicago Press.
Imre Lakatos (1978). The Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes. Cambridge University Press.
Thomas Kuhn (ed.) (2000). The Road Since Structure. University of Chicago Press.
David Zaret (1977). The Essential Tension: Selected Studies in Scientific Tradition and Change. [REVIEW] Philosophical Review 90 (1):146-149.
Citations of this work BETA
Frank Zenker & Peter Gärdenfors (2013). Modeling Diachronic Changes in Structuralism and in Conceptual Spaces. Erkenntnis 79 (S8):1-15.
Graciana Petersen & Frank Zenker (2014). From Euler to Navier–Stokes: A Spatial Analysis of Conceptual Changes in Nineteenth-Century Fluid Dynamics. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 28 (3):235-253.
Marta Sznajder (2016). What Conceptual Spaces Can Do for Carnap's Late Inductive Logic. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 56:62-71.
Lieven Decock, Igor Douven, Christoph Kelp & Sylvia Wenmackers (2014). Knowledge and Approximate Knowledge. Erkenntnis 79 (S6):1129-1150.
Similar books and articles
Ardnés Rivadulla (2004). The Newtonian Limit of Relativity Theory and the Rationality of Theory Change. Synthese 141 (3):417 - 429.
Xiang Chen (1988). Reconstruction of the Optical Revolution: Lakatos Vs. Laudan. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1988:103 - 109.
Peter Barker (2001). Kuhn, Incommensurability, and Cognitive Science. Perspectives on Science 9 (4):433-462.
Ingo Brigandt, An Alternative to Kitcher's Theory of Conceptual Progress and His Account of the Change of the Gene Concept.
Otávio Bueno (2008). Structural Realism, Scientific Change, and Partial Structures. Studia Logica 89 (2):213 - 235.
Ingo Brigandt (2004). Conceptual Role Semantics, the Theory Theory, and Conceptual Change. In Proceedings First Joint Conference of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology and the European Society for Philosophy and Psychology, Barcelona, Spain.
Paul Thagard (2003). Conceptual Change. In L. Nadel (ed.), Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science. Nature Publishing Group
Paul Thagard (1990). The Conceptual Structure of the Chemical Revolution. Philosophy of Science 57 (2):183-209.
Mark Bevir (2003). Notes Toward an Analysis of Conceptual Change. Social Epistemology 17 (1):55 – 63.
Peter Gardenfors (2004). Conceptual Spaces as a Framework for Knowledge Representation. Mind and Matter 2 (2):9-27.
Marjorie Rhodes & Henry Wellman (2013). Constructing a New Theory From Old Ideas and New Evidence. Cognitive Science 37 (3):592-604.
Nancy J. Nersessian (1989). Conceptual Change in Science and in Science Education. Synthese 80 (1):163 - 183.
Ingo Brigandt (2006). A Theory of Conceptual Advance: Explaining Conceptual Change in Evolutionary, Molecular, and Evolutionary Developmental Biology. Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh
David L. Hull (1988). A Mechanism and its Metaphysics: An Evolutionary Account of the Social and Conceptual Development of Science. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 3 (2):123-155.
Added to index2012-01-25
Total downloads128 ( #28,443 of 1,793,065 )
Recent downloads (6 months)15 ( #50,793 of 1,793,065 )
How can I increase my downloads?