What Scientific Theories Could Not Be

Philosophy of Science 79 (2):183-206 (2012)
Abstract
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 undermine scientific structuralism.
Keywords semantic view of scientific theories  received view of scientific theories  structural realism  constructive empiricism
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References found in this work BETA
J. Ladyman (1998). What is Structural Realism? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 29 (3):409-424.
Not By Me (1983). The Structure of Evolutionary Theory: A Semantic Approach. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 14 (3):215-229.
Jill North (2009). The “Structure” of Physics. Journal of Philosophy 106 (2):57-88.
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