About this topic
Summary The main interest of the topic of reference in science relates to the reference of theoretical terms.  This issue was of particular importance in the context of the response to the problem of semantic incommensurability which arises due to meaning or conceptual change.  Philosophers such as Israel Scheffler, Hilary Putnam and Michael Devitt argue that reference may be preserved throughout theoretical change thus ensuring the comparability of theories.  This response found a natural place within the causal theory of reference.  However, problems arose about the application of the causal theory of reference to unobservable entities, as well as with respect to the failure of reference of theoretical terms.  A number of responses have emerged including causal-descriptive theories of reference.
Key works For Scheffler's use of the sense/reference distinction in relation to meaning variance and the comparability of theories, see Scheffler 1967.  Hilary Putnam indicates how a causal theory of reference may be of use with respect to this issue in Putnam 1973.  Arthur Fine raises problems about change of reference which seem to be ruled out by the causal theory in Fine 1975.  Devitt provides general coverage of the topic, including some basis for a response to Fine in Devitt 1979. Kitcher also makes good suggestions about how to deal with the problem of reference change in Kitcher 1978.  The problem of reference failure for theoretical terms within the context of the causal theory and reasons to move to a causal descriptive account are dealt with in Enc 1976, Nola 1980 and Kroon 1985.  For an influential discussion of theoretical terms, see Lewis 1970.  A very influential critical discussion of reference in relation to scientific realism is to be found in Laudan 1981.
Introductions Sankey 1994
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101 found
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  1. added 2020-09-23
    Objectivity, Historicity, Taxonomy.Joeri Witteveen - 2018 - Erkenntnis 83 (3):445-463.
    In Objectivity, Daston and Galison argue that scientific objectivity has a history. Objectivity emerged as a distinct nineteenth-century “epistemic virtue,” flanked in time by other epistemic virtues. The authors trace the origins of scientific objectivity by identifying changes in images from scientific atlases from different periods, but they emphasize that the same history could be narrated using different sorts of scientific objects. One could, for example, focus on the changing uses of “type specimens” in biological taxonomy. Daston :153–182, 2004) indeed (...)
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  2. added 2020-09-13
    Semantic Flexibility in Scientific Practice: A Study of Newton's Optics.Michael Bishop - 1999 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 32 (3):210 - 232.
    Semantic essentialism holds that any scientific term that appears in a well-confirmed scientific theory has a fixed kernel of meaning. Semantic essentialism cannot make sense of the strategies scientists use to argue for their views. Newton's central optical expression "light ray" suggests a context-sensitive view of scientific language. On different occasions, Newton's expression could refer to different things depending on his particular argumentative goals - a visible beam, an irreducibly smallest section of propagating light, or a traveling particle of light. (...)
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  3. added 2020-06-06
    Scientific Coordination Beyond the A Priori: A Three-Dimensional Account of Constitutive Elements in Scientific Practice.Michele Luchetti - 2020 - Dissertation, Central European University
    In this dissertation, I present a novel account of the components that have a peculiar epistemic role in our scientific inquiries, since they contribute to establishing a form of coordination. The issue of coordination is a classic epistemic problem concerning how we justify our use of abstract conceptual tools to represent concrete phenomena. For instance, how could we get to represent universal gravitation as a mathematical formula or temperature by means of a numerical scale? This problem is particularly pressing when (...)
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  4. added 2019-11-08
    Race and Reference.Adam Hochman - 2019 - Biology and Philosophy 34 (2):32.
    The biological race debate is at an impasse. Issues surrounding hereditarianism aside, there is little empirical disagreement left between race naturalists and anti-realists about biological race. The disagreement is now primarily semantic. This would seem to uniquely qualify philosophers to contribute to the biological race debate. However, philosophers of race are reluctant to focus on semantics, largely because of their worries about the ‘flight to reference’. In this paper, I show how philosophers can contribute to the debate without taking the (...)
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  5. added 2019-06-10
    The Instrument of Science: Scientific Anti-Realism Revitalised.Darrell P. Rowbottom - 2019 - New York: Routledge.
    Roughly, instrumentalism is the view that science is primarily, and should primarily be, an instrument for furthering our practical ends. It has fallen out of favour because historically influential variants of the view, such as logical positivism, suffered from serious defects. -/- In this book, however, Darrell P. Rowbottom develops a new form of instrumentalism, which is more sophisticated and resilient than its predecessors. This position—‘cognitive instrumentalism’—involves three core theses. First, science makes theoretical progress primarily when it furnishes us with (...)
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  6. added 2019-06-06
    Reference to the Best Explanation.Arash Pessian - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 41 (4):363-374.
    This paper shows that two questions productively overlap: first, in virtue of what does an agent infer one hypothesis rather than another? Second, in virtue of what does an agent refer to one natural kind rather than another? Peter Lipton answers the first question by articulating the model of inference to the best explanation. Lipton’s answer to the first question is appropriated as an answer to the second.Keywords: Reference; Explanation; Natural kind; Qua problem; Peter Lipton.
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  7. added 2019-06-06
    Realism Bit by Bit: Part II. Disjunctive Partial Reference.Christina McLeish - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 37 (2):171-190.
    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 (...)
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  8. added 2019-06-06
    Scientific Realism Bit by Bit: Part I. Kitcher on Reference.Christina McLeish - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 36 (4):668-686.
    In this paper, I consider Kitcher’s account of reference for the expressions of past science. Kitcher’s case study is of Joseph Priestley and his expression ‘dephlogisticated air’. There is a strong intuitive case that ‘dephlogisticated air’ referred to oxygen, but it was underpinned by very mistaken phlogiston theory, so concluding either that dephlogisticated air referred straightforwardly or that it failed to refer both have unpalatable consequences. Kitcher argues that the reference of such terms is best considered relative to each token—some (...)
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  9. added 2019-06-06
    A Philosophical Study Of The Transition From The Caloric Theory Of Heat To Thermodynamics: Resisting the Pessimistic Meta-Induction.Stathis Psillos - 1994 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 25 (2):159-190.
    I began this study with Laudan's argument from the pessimistic induction and I promised to show that the caloric theory of heat cannot be used to support the premisses of the meta-induction on past scientific theories. I tried to show that the laws of experimental calorimetry, adiabatic change and Carnot's theory of the motive power of heat were independent of the assumption that heat is a material substance, approximately true, deducible and accounted for within thermodynamics.I stressed that results and were (...)
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  10. added 2019-06-06
    Reference and Scientific Realism.Jarrett Leplin - 1979 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 10 (4):265.
  11. added 2018-12-21
    Theodore Arabatzis, Representing Electrons: A Biographical Approach to Theoretical Entities, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, ISBN 0-226-02420-2 2005 (296 Pp., US$ 70.00, Cloth). [REVIEW]M. Macleod - 2007 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 38 (1):226-229.
  12. added 2018-06-07
    Hypothetical Entities and Realistic Interpretation: The Case of the Muriatic Radical.Jonathon Hricko - manuscript
    Scientific realists are committed to the claim that scientific discourse should be interpreted realistically, so that theoretical terms are understood as putatively referring expressions that have putative reference to empirical entities. In order to argue against realistic interpretation, I draw on an episode from the history of chemistry. One of the hypothetical entities of late 18th century chemistry was the muriatic radical, a hitherto unknown element that was thought to be a constituent of muriatic acid. I argue that the term (...)
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  13. added 2018-02-02
    Theoretical Reference and Truthlikeness.Ilkka Niiniluoto - 1997 - In Julian Nida-Rümelin & Georg Meggle (eds.), Analyomen 2, Volume I: Logic, Epistemology, Philosophy of Science. De Gruyter. pp. 439-452.
  14. added 2017-06-30
    Knowledge and Reference in Empirical Science.Jody Azzouni - 2000 - Routledge.
    _Knowledge and Reference in Empirical Science_ is a fascinating study of the bounds between science and language: in what sense, and of what, does science provide knowledge? Is science an instrument only distantly related to what's real? Can the language of science be used to adequately describe the truth? In this book, Jody Azziouni investigates the technology of science - the actual forging and exploiting of causal links, between ourselves and what we endeavor to know and understand.
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  15. added 2017-06-30
    Knowledge and Reference in Empirical Science.Jody Azzouni - 2000 - Routledge.
    _Knowledge and Reference in Empirical Science_ is a fascinating study of the bounds between science and language: in what sense, and of what, does science provide knowledge? Is science an instrument only distantly related to what's real? Can the language of science be used to adequately describe the truth? In this book, Jodi Azziouni investigates the technology of science - the actual forging and exploiting of causal links, between ourselves and what we endeavor to know and understand.
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  16. added 2017-06-30
    A Theory of Reference Transmission and Reference Change.Alan Berger - 1989 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 14 (1):180-198.
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  17. added 2017-06-29
    Realism, Progress and the Historical Turn.Howard Sankey - 2017 - Foundations of Science 22 (1):201-214.
    The contemporary debate between scientific realism and anti-realism is conditioned by a polarity between two opposing arguments: the realist’s success argument and the anti-realist’s pessimistic induction. This polarity has skewed the debate away from the problem that lies at the source of the debate. From a realist point of view, the historical approach to the philosophy of science which came to the fore in the 1960s gave rise to an unsatisfactory conception of scientific progress. One of the main motivations for (...)
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  18. added 2017-02-26
    On Electrons and Reference.W. Balzer & G. Zoubek - 1987 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 2 (2-3):365-388.
  19. added 2017-02-01
    Science Without Reference?Felix Mühlhölzer - 1995 - Erkenntnis 42 (2):203 - 222.
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  20. added 2017-01-16
    How and How Not to Be Whiggish About 'Phlogiston'.Jonathon Hricko - manuscript
    Understanding the semantics of theoretical terms from past science involves determining what, if anything, they referred to. Some ways of assigning referents to such terms are Whiggish, in the sense that they introduce anachronisms that distort the past, while others are not. My aim in this paper is to develop a non-Whiggish semantic theory, one that avoids Whiggish reference assignments. In order to do so, I make use of the example of 'phlogiston.' I argue that it would be Whiggish to (...)
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  21. added 2017-01-14
    The Term Phlogiston and the Notion of "Failure to Refer".Lucía Lewowicz - unknown
    Finding out which terms – scientific or otherwise— fail to refer is an extremely complex business since both felicitous reference and failure to refer must be negotiated. Causal theories of reference –even so-called hybrid theories – posit that in order to refer to something, we need the regulative idea of an ontological reference, which operates even when we refer to impossibilia or inconceivable objects. Evidently, this is not the case of the referent of phlogiston, which is neither inconceivable nor impossible, (...)
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  22. added 2016-12-05
    Reason, Reference, and the Quest for Knowledge.Dudley Shapere - 1982 - Philosophy of Science 49 (1):1-23.
    This paper examines the "causal theory of reference", according to which science aims at the discovery of "essences" which are the objects of reference of natural kind terms (among others). This theory has been advanced as an alternative to traditional views of "meaning", on which a number of philosophical accounts of science have relied, and which have been criticized earlier by the present author. However, this newer theory of reference is shown to be equally subject to fatal internal difficulties, and (...)
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  23. added 2016-11-09
    The Purloined Referent: Lavoisier and the Disappearance of Phlogiston.Lucía Lewowicz - unknown
    In this paper, I challenge the long-established view that the term phlogiston fails to refer. After a close examination of the reference of phlogiston during Lavoisier’s Chemical Revolution, I show that it referred throughout to a natural substance, fire matter. I state that Lavoisier eliminated the term but not its referent, which he renamed caloric, and I claim that it is in the historical and cultural context of the Chemical Revolution that the Lavoisier’s intentions can be understood.
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  24. added 2016-06-20
    Role-Player Realism.Paul Teller - manuscript
    In practice theoretical terms are open-ended in not being attached to anything completely specific. This raises a problem for scientific realism: If there is no one completely specific kind of thing that might be in the extension of “atom”, what is it to claim that atoms exist? A realist’s solution is to say that in theoretical contexts of mature atom-theories there are things that play the role of atoms as characterized in that theory-context. The paper closes with a laundry list (...)
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  25. added 2015-07-14
    ¿Desarrollo progresivo de la ciencia sin continuidad referencial? Acerca del realismo de Psillos y la teoría del germoplasma de Weismann DOI:10.5007/1808-1711.2010v14n3p335.Mariana Córdoba - 2010 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 14 (3):335-348.
    In this paper I argue for the idea that, throughout the history of science, there are some cases of theory change that would show how science develops with no referential continuity. For this purpose, I analyze Psillos’ proposal of a theory of reference used to account for referential continuity in conceptual transitions. This kind of continuity is requested by Psillos —as by other philosophers— in his defense of scientific realism. By means of a historical case, the theory of germplasm of (...)
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  26. added 2015-05-28
    Meta-Incommensurability Between Theories of Meaning: Chemical Evidence.Nicholas W. Best - 2015 - Perspectives on Science 23 (3):361-378.
    Attempting to compare scientific theories requires a philosophical model of meaning. Yet different scientific theories have at times—particularly in early chemistry—pre-supposed disparate theories of meaning. When two theories of meaning are incommensurable, we must say that the scientific theories that rely upon them are meta-incommensurable. Meta- incommensurability is a more profound sceptical threat to science since, unlike first-order incommensurability, it implies complete incomparability.
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  27. added 2015-05-16
    Realism and the Infinitely Faceted World: Intimations From the 1950s.Alberto Cordero - 2010 - Ontology Studies: Cuadernos de Ontología:7-19.
    Breaking away from logical-empiricism, in the early 1950s Stephen Toulmin presented empirical theories as maps, thereby opening a fertile line of reflection about background interests and their impact on abstraction in scientific theorizing. A few years later, pointing to the “qualitative infinity of nature,” David Bohm denounced what he regarded as counterproductive constraints on the scientific imagination. In realist circles, these two strands of suggestions would be variously supplemented over the following decades with further recognitions of the epistemic merits of (...)
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  28. added 2015-04-15
    On Electrons and Reference.W. Balzer & G. Zoubek - 1987 - Theoria 2 (2):365-388.
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  29. added 2015-04-08
    Reference Change of Natural Kind Terms.Luis Moreno - 1999 - Sorites 11:6-14.
    Kuhn's thesis of referential incommensurability rests on the thesis of reference change according to which theory change involves reference change. One of Kuhn's disagreements with Putnam's reference theory and in general with the causal theory of reference concerns the question of whether the reference of natural kind terms may change. On examining this disagreement it will be paid attention to the factors which might involve changes of reference and to the doctrines which may lend support to the thesis of reference (...)
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  30. added 2015-04-08
    Reference and Theory Change.Alex Joseph Goldstein - 1980 - Dissertation, University of Michigan
    In Chapter V my own position is presented. It is a modified version of Putnam's theory of reference, incorporating an extension of Field's notion of 'partial denotation' and another notion I introduce called 'partial truth'. The use of these notions is defended and illustrated by comparing the reference of Dalton's term 'element' with the reference of Soddy's terms 'element' and 'isotope', and comparing the truth of Prout's hypothesis that the atomic weight of every element is an integral multiple of the (...)
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  31. added 2015-04-04
    Reference and Reduction.Frederick William Kroon - 1980 - Dissertation, Princeton University
    Chapter V attempts to provide the elements of a solution to the problem of how terms in theoretical sciences acquire their reference. Its proposal is that a theory of reference-acquisition for theoretical terms should acknowledge the fact that what fixes the reference of a theoretical term is typically the embedding theory as a whole, not an austere causal description like 'the item causally responsible for event E.' It is argued that there are epistemic reasons for the existence of this phenomenon, (...)
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  32. added 2015-03-22
    Référence et dénotation des termes scientifiques.Éric Bourneuf - 1991 - Philosophiques 18 (2):27-62.
    Le point de départ de l'article est la théorie de la signification et de la référence des termes scientifiques présentée par Hilary Putnam dans son article « The Meaning of 'Meaning7 » et quelques autres essais de Mind, Language and Reality. Dans la partie critique du texte la thèse et les arguments de Putnam, ainsi que sa prétention d'éviter le problème de rincommensurabilité des théories rivales, sont évalués à la lumière de la distinction que nous introduisons entre référence et dénotation. (...)
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  33. added 2015-03-20
    From the Reference of Terms and Statements to the Reference of Theories: The Novelty of Sneed's View.Juan Manuel Jaramillo - 2011 - Discusiones Filosóficas 12 (18):67 - 88.
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  34. added 2015-03-20
    From the Reference of Terms and Statements to the Reference of Theories: The Novelty of Sneed's View.Juan Manuel Jaramillo U. - 2011 - Discusiones Filosóficas 12 (18):67-88.
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  35. added 2014-10-13
    A Pluralist Approach to Extension: The Role of Materiality in Scientific Practice for the Reference of Natural Kind Terms.Ann-Sophie Barwich - 2013 - Biological Theory 7 (2):100-108.
    This article argues for a different outlook on the concept of extension, especially for the reference of general terms in scientific practice. Scientific realist interpretations of the two predominant theories of meaning, namely Descriptivism and Causal Theory, contend that a stable cluster of descriptions or an initial baptism fixes the extension of a general term such as a natural kind term. This view in which the meaning of general terms is presented as monosemantic and the referents as stable, homogeneous, and (...)
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  36. added 2014-10-13
    Nondescriptionality and Natural Kind Terms.Barbara Abbott - 1989 - Linguistics and Philosophy 12 (3):269 - 291.
    The phrase "natural kind term" has come into the linguistic and philosophical literature in connection with well-known work of Kripke (1972) and Putnam (1970, 1975a). I use that phrase here in the sense it has acquired from those and subseqnent works on related topics. This is not the transparent sense of the phrase. That is, if I am right in what follows there are words for kinds of things existing in nature which are not natural kind terms in the current (...)
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  37. added 2014-08-13
    Naming and Contingency: The Type Method of Biological Taxonomy.Joeri Witteveen - 2015 - Biology and Philosophy 30 (4):569-586.
    Biological taxonomists rely on the so-called ‘type method’ to regulate taxonomic nomenclature. For each newfound taxon, they lay down a ‘type specimen’ that carries with it the name of the taxon it belongs to. Even if a taxon’s circumscription is unknown and/or subject to change, it remains a necessary truth that the taxon’s type specimen falls within its boundaries. Philosophers have noted some time ago that this naming practice is in line with the causal theory of reference and its central (...)
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  38. added 2014-06-03
    Partial Reference, Scientific Realism and Possible Worlds.Anders Landig - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 47:1-9.
    Theories of partial reference have been developed in order to retrospectively interpret rather stubborn past scientific theories like Newtonian dynamics and the phlogiston theory in a realist way, i.e., as approximately true. This is done by allowing for a term to refer to more than one entity at the same time and by providing semantic structures that determine the truth values of sentences containing partially referring terms. Two versions of theories of partial reference will be presented, a conjunctive (by Hartry (...)
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  39. added 2014-04-08
    Metaphilosophical Ruminations on Theoretical Term Reference.Ioannis Votsis - unknown
    Most scientific realists nowadays would endorse an argument like the following: The empirical and explanatory success of theories or theory-parts is a good indicator of their approximate truth. In turn, approximate truth is a good indicator of referential success. Successor theories typically preserve all of the empirical and explanatory success of their predecessors as well as add to it. They are thus in general strictly more approximately true than their predecessors. Moreover, by preserving their predecessors’ approximately true parts they preserve (...)
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  40. added 2014-04-08
    Can the World Help Us in Fixing the Reference of Natural Kind Terms?Igor Douven & Jaap Van Brakel - 1998 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 29 (1):59 - 70.
    According to Putnam the reference of natural kind terms is fixed by the world, at least partly; whether two things belong to the same kind depends on whether they obey the same objective laws. We show that Putnam's criterion of substance identity only "works" if we read "objective laws" as "OBJECTIVE LAWS". Moreover, at least some of the laws of some of the special sciences have to be included. But what we consider to be good special sciences and what not (...)
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  41. added 2014-04-08
    Reference and Natural Kind Terms: The Real Essence of Locke's View.P. Kyle Stanford - 1998 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 79 (1):78–97.
    J. L. Mackie's famous claim that Locke ‘anticipates’ Kripke's Causal Theory of Reference rests, I suggest, upon a pair of important misunderstandings. Contra Mackie, as well as the more recent accounts of Paul Guyer and Michael Ayers, Lockean Real Essences consist of those features of an entity from which all of its experienceable properties can be logically deduced; thus a substantival Real Essence consists of features of a Real Constitution plus logically necessary objective connections between them and features of some (...)
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  42. added 2014-04-08
    Theoretical Terms: Recent Developments.Wolfgang Balzer - 1996 - In Wolfgang Balzer & Carlos Ulises Moulines (eds.), Structuralist Theory of Science: Focal Issues, New Results. Walter de Gruyter.
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  43. added 2014-04-08
    Theoretical Terms: A New Perspective.Wolfgang Balzer - 1986 - Journal of Philosophy 83 (2):71-90.
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  44. added 2014-04-08
    Review: David Lewis, How to Define Theoretical Terms. [REVIEW]H. Bohnert - 1971 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 36 (2):321-321.
  45. added 2014-04-08
    Review: Peter Achinstein, Theoretical Terms and Partial Interpretation. [REVIEW]H. Bohnert - 1971 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 36 (2):321-322.
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  46. added 2014-04-02
    Can the Pessimistic Induction Be Saved From Semantic Anti-Realism About Scientific Theory?Greg Frost-Arnold - 2014 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65 (3):521-548.
    Scientific anti-realists who appeal to the pessimistic induction (PI) claim that the theoretical terms of past scientific theories often fail to refer to anything. But on standard views in philosophy of language, such reference failures prima facie lead to certain sentences being neither true nor false. Thus, if these standard views are correct, then the conclusion of the PI should be that significant chunks of current theories are truth-valueless. But that is semantic anti-realism about scientific discourse—a position most philosophers of (...)
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  47. added 2014-03-30
    Natural Kind Terms and Recognitional Capacities.Jessica Brown - 1998 - Mind 107 (426):275-303.
    The main contribution of this paper is a new account of how a community may introduce a term for a natural kind in advance of knowing the correct scientific account of that kind. The account is motivated by the inadequacy of the currently dominant accounts of how a community may do this, namely those proposed by Kripke and by Putman. Their accounts fail to deal satisfactorily with the facts that (1) typically, an item that instantiates one natural kind instantiates several (...)
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  48. added 2014-03-30
    Kitcher on Reference.Stathis Psillos - 1997 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 11 (3):259 – 272.
    In his (1978) and parts of (1993), Philip Kitcher advances a new context-sensitive theory of reference which he applies to abandoned theoretical expression-types, such as Joseph Priestley’s ‘dephlogisticated air’, in order to show that, although qua types they fail to refer uniformly, they nonetheless have referential tokens. This piece offers a critical examination of Kitcher’s theory. After a general investigation into the overall adequacy of Kitcher’s theory as a general account of reference, I focus on the case of abandoned theoretical (...)
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  49. added 2014-03-30
    Reference Failure and Scientific Realism: A Response to the Meta-Induction.D. Cummiskey - 1992 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 43 (1):21-40.
    Pure causal theories of reference cannot account for cases of theoretical term reference failure and do not capture the scientific point of introducing new theoretical terminology. In order to account for paradigm cases of reference failure and the point of new theoretical terminology, a descriptive element must play a role in fixing the reference of theoretical terms. Richard Boyd's concept of theory constituitive metaphors provides the necessary descriptive element in reference fixing. In addition to providing a plausible account of reference (...)
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  50. added 2014-03-29
    Taxonomic Incommensurability.Howard Sankey - 1998 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 12 (1):7 – 16.
    In a shift of position that has gone largely unnoticed by the great majority of commentators, Thomas Kuhn's version of the incommensurability thesis underwent a major transformation over the last decade and a half of his life. In his later work, Kuhn argued that incommensurability is a relation of translation failure between local subsets of interdefined theoretical terms, which encapsulate the taxonomic structure of a theory. Incommensurability arises because it is impossible to transfer the natural categories employed within one taxonomic (...)
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