David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophy of Science 39 (3):285-290 (1972)
The claim that theoretical entities are not real, that they are merely convenient fictions, has been defended and attacked in diverse ways. This paper is concerned with only one defense of the fictionalist thesis and with a certain realist attack on it. The defense in question is that theories which prima facie make reference to theoretical entities can be revised in such a way that no such apparent reference is made by eliminating all occurrences of theoretical expressions. It will be argued here that there is a procedure for revising theories which meets certain minimal criteria of adequacy, contrary to arguments in the literature. Further, it will be argued that the existence of this procedure provides neither sufficient nor necessary support for the fictionalist thesis, that this procedure is not of significance in the dispute between the fictionalist and the realist. Whether or not the theoretical-nontheoretical distinction is viable is another story which will not be told here. It will be assumed for the sake of argument that such a distinction can be drawn
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Ilkka Niiniluoto (1974). Inducibility and Epistemic Systematization: Rejoinder to Kaufman. Synthese 28 (2):223 - 232.
Similar books and articles
Richard Woodward (2012). Fictionalism and Incompleteness. Noûs 46 (4):781-790.
Richard Woodward (2008). Why Modal Fictionalism is Not Self-Defeating. Philosophical Studies 139 (2):273 - 288.
Jason Stanley (2001). Hermeneutic Fictionalism. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 25 (1):36–71.
Robert Nola (1980). Fixing the Reference of Theoretical Terms. Philosophy of Science 47 (4):505-531.
Steven Horst (1995). Eliminativism and the Ambiguity of `Belief'. Synthese 104 (1):123-45.
Daniel Nolan, Modal Fictionalism. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Mohamed Elsamahi (1994). Could Theoretical Entities Save Realism? In David & Richard Hull & Burian (ed.), PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association. 173 - 180.
Chris John Daly (2008). Fictionalism and the Attitudes. Philosophical Studies 139 (3):423 - 440.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads32 ( #99,020 of 1,725,870 )
Recent downloads (6 months)24 ( #38,679 of 1,725,870 )
How can I increase my downloads?