When empirical success implies theoretical reference: A structural correspondence theorem

Abstract
Starting from a brief recapitulation of the contemporary debate on scientific realism, this paper argues for the following thesis : Assume a theory T has been empirically successful in a domain of application A, but was superseded later on by a superior theory T * , which was likewise successful in A but has an arbitrarily different theoretical superstructure. Then under natural conditions T contains certain theoretical expressions, which yielded T's empirical success, such that these T-expressions correspond (in A) to certain theoretical expressions of T * , and given T * is true, they refer indirectly to the entities denoted by these expressions of T * . The thesis is first motivated by a study of the phlogiston–oxygen example. Then the thesis is proved in the form of a logical theorem , and illustrated by further examples. The final sections explain how the correspondence theorem justifies scientific realism and work out the advantages of the suggested account. Introduction: Pessimistic Meta-induction vs. Structural Correspondence The Case of the Phlogiston Theory Steps Towards a Systematic Correspondence Theorem The Correspondence Theorem and Its Ontological Interpretation Further Historical Applications Discussion of the Correspondence Theorem: Objections and Replies Consequences for Scientific Realism and Comparison with Other Positions 7.1 Comparison with constructive empiricism 7.2 Major difference from standard scientific realism 7.3 From minimal realism and correspondence to scientific realism 7.4 Comparison with particular realistic positions CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this?
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 10,269
External links
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
Rudolf Carnap (1936). Testability and Meaning. Philosophy of Science 3 (4):419-471.
J. Ladyman (1998). What is Structural Realism? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 29 (3):409-424.
Larry Laudan (1984). Realism Without the Real. Philosophy of Science 51 (1):156-162.

View all 11 references

Citations of this work BETA
Ioannis Votsis & Gerhard Schurz (2012). A Frame-Theoretic Analysis of Two Rival Conceptions of Heat. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 43 (1):105-114.

View all 8 citations

Similar books and articles
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-02-14

Total downloads

24 ( #67,651 of 1,096,231 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

6 ( #32,031 of 1,096,231 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.