Metatheoretical Structuralism: a General Program for Analyzing Science [Book Review]

Axiomathes 20 (2-3):255-268 (2010)
In spite of the ‘experimental turn’ now fashionable in the philosophy of science, the question of the structure and identity criteria of scientific theories continues to be a central issue for the philosophical analysis of empirical science. We need a precise metatheory of empirical theories to deal with this issue. Metatheoretical structuralism appears to offer the most adequate approach in this sense so far. First, some basic intuitions about what empirical theories are, and how they are structured, are laid out. Then, the main notions used by metatheoretical structuralism to analyze theories are explained, and they are illustrated by applying them to an example of a simple physical theory. Finally, it is argued that the picture of the structure and identity of empirical theories coming out of structuralistic analysis adequately corresponds to the basic intuitions stated at the beginning.
Keywords Structuralism  Identity criteria for theories  Models  Set-theoretic predicates  Theory-elements  Theory-nets  Intertheoretical relations  Genidentity of theories
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DOI 10.1007/s10516-010-9106-z
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