David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 37 (2):171--190 (2006)
In this second paper, I continue my discussion of the problem of reference for scientific realism. First, I consider a final objection to Kitcher's account of reference, which I generalise to other accounts of reference. Such accounts make attributions of reference by appeal to our pretheoretical intuitions about how true statements ought to be distibuted among the scientific utterances of the past. I argue that in the cases that merit discussion, this strategy fails because our intuitions are unstable. The interesting cases are importantly borderline--it really isn't clear what we ought to say about how those terms referred. I conclude that in many relevant cases, our grounds for thinking that the theoretical terms of the past referred are matched by our grounds for thinking that they failed to refer, in such a way that deciding on either result is arbitrary and bad news for the realist. In response to this problem, in the second part of the paper I expand upon Field's (1973) account of partial reference to sketch a new way of thinking about the theoretical terms of the past--that they partially referred and partially failed to refer.
|Keywords||Scientific realism, Reference, Partial denotation, Theoretical terms, Philip Kitcher, Hartry Field|
|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
Berent Enć (1976). Reference of Theoretical Terms. Noûs 10 (3):261-282.
Hartry Field (1973). Theory Change and the Indeterminacy of Reference. Journal of Philosophy 70 (14):462-481.
Frederick W. Kroon (1987). Causal Descriptivism. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 65 (1):1 – 17.
P. Kyle Stanford & Philip Kitcher (2000). Refining the Causal Theory of Reference for Natural Kind Terms. Philosophical Studies 97 (1):97-127.
Citations of this work BETA
Arash Pessian (2010). Reference to the Best Explanation. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 41 (4):363-374.
Similar books and articles
Jane Duran (2005). Realism, Positivism and Reference. Journal for General Philosophy of Science 36 (2):401 - 407.
Robert Nola (1980). Fixing the Reference of Theoretical Terms. Philosophy of Science 47 (4):505-531.
Clyde L. Hardin & Alexander Rosenberg (1982). In Defense of Convergent Realism. Philosophy of Science 49 (4):604-615.
Michael A. Bishop & Stephen P. Stich (1998). The Flight to Reference, or How Not to Make Progress in the Philosophy of Science. Philosophy of Science 65 (1):33-49.
Pierre Cruse (2004). Scientific Realism, Ramsey Sentences and the Reference of Theoretical Terms. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 18 (2 & 3):133 – 149.
Michael A. Bishop (2003). The Pessimistic Induction, the Flight to Reference and the Metaphysical Zoo. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 17 (2):161 – 178.
Ilkka Niiniluoto (1997). Reference Invariance and Truthlikeness. Philosophy of Science 64 (4):546-554.
D. Cummiskey (1992). Reference Failure and Scientific Realism: A Response to the Meta-Induction. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 43 (1):21-40.
Christina McLeish (2005). Scientific Realism Bit by Bit: Part I. Kitcher on Reference. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 36 (4):668--686.
Added to index2009-08-21
Total downloads31 ( #54,009 of 1,096,839 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #106,677 of 1,096,839 )
How can I increase my downloads?