David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophy of Science 39 (1):1-19 (1972)
Achinstein, Putnam, and others have urged the rejection of the received view on theories (which construes theories as axiomatic calculi where theoretical terms are given partial observational interpretations by correspondence rules) because (i) the notion of partial interpretation cannot be given precise formulation, and (ii) the observational-theoretical distinction cannot be drawn satisfactorily. I try to show that these are the wrong reasons for rejecting the received view since (i) is false and it is virtually impossible to demonstrate the truth of (ii). Nonetheless, the received view should be rejected because it obscures a number of epistemologically important features of scientific theorizing. I show this by sketching an alternative analysis which reveals some of these features and gives a more faithful picture of scientific theorizing
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