From Geometry to Conceptual Relativity

Erkenntnis 82 (5):1043-1063 (2017)
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Abstract

The purported fact that geometric theories formulated in terms of points and geometric theories formulated in terms of lines are “equally correct” is often invoked in arguments for conceptual relativity, in particular by Putnam and Goodman. We discuss a few notions of equivalence between first-order theories, and we then demonstrate a precise sense in which this purported fact is true. We argue, however, that this fact does not undermine metaphysical realism.

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Author Profiles

Hans Halvorson
Princeton University
Thomas William Barrett
University of California at Santa Barbara

Citations of this work

How to count structure.Thomas William Barrett - 2022 - Noûs 56 (2):295-322.
Equivalent and Inequivalent Formulations of Classical Mechanics.Thomas William Barrett - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (4):1167-1199.
What Theoretical Equivalence Could Not Be.Trevor Teitel - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (12):4119-4149.
What Do Symmetries Tell Us About Structure?Thomas William Barrett - 2017 - Philosophy of Science (4):617-639.
Definable Categorical Equivalence.Laurenz Hudetz - 2019 - Philosophy of Science 86 (1):47-75.

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References found in this work

Word and Object.Willard Van Orman Quine - 1960 - Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
Ways of Worldmaking.Nelson Goodman - 1978 - Harvester Press.
Theory and Evidence.Clark N. Glymour - 1980 - Princeton University Press.
Word and Object.Willard Van Orman Quine - 1960 - Les Etudes Philosophiques 17 (2):278-279.
Realism and Reason.Hilary Putnam - 1983 - Cambridge University Press.

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