Authors
Kevin Coffey
New York University, Abu Dhabi
Abstract
The problem of theoretical equivalence is traditionally understood as the problem of specifying when superficially dissimilar accounts of the world are reformulations of a single underlying theory. One important strategy for answering this question has been to appeal to formal relations between theoretical structures. This article presents two reasons to think that such an approach will be unsuccessful and suggests an alternative account of theoretical equivalence, based on the notion of interpretive equivalence, in which the problem is merely an instance of a broader problem in the philosophy of physics. I thus conclude that there is no distinctive problem of theoretical equivalence at all. Two difficulties my approach raises for realist replies to the threat of underdetermination are then discussed, with particular emphasis on a recent reply by Norton. 1 Introduction2 Methodological Confusion3 Asymmetrical Equivalence3.1 Maxwell’s field equations3.2 Classical Lagrangian dynamics4 Formal Approaches: Quine and Glymour5 Theoretical Equivalence as Interpretive Equivalence6 Theoretical Equivalence without Interpretive Judgement?7 Lessons for Underdetermination
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/bjps/axt034
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 63,133
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Scientific Image.William Demopoulos & Bas C. van Fraassen - 1982 - Philosophical Review 91 (4):603.
The Scientific Image.Michael Friedman - 1982 - Journal of Philosophy 79 (5):274-283.

View all 52 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

What Theoretical Equivalence Could Not Be.Trevor Teitel - 2021 - Philosophical Studies:1-31.
Glymour and Quine on Theoretical Equivalence.Thomas William Barrett & Hans Halvorson - 2016 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 45 (5):467-483.
Equivalent and Inequivalent Formulations of Classical Mechanics.Thomas William Barrett - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (4):1167-1199.
Morita Equivalence.Thomas William Barrett & Hans Halvorson - 2016 - Review of Symbolic Logic 9 (3):556-582.

View all 27 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Thin Equivalence Relations and Effective Decompositions.Greg Hjorth - 1993 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 58 (4):1153-1164.
Maximal R.E. Equivalence Relations.Jeffrey S. Carroll - 1990 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 55 (3):1048-1058.
Theoretical Languages in Psychology.J. E. Martin - 1971 - Philosophy of Science 38 (September):344-352.
? 0 N -Equivalence Relations.Andrea Sorbi - 1982 - Studia Logica 41 (4):351-358.
Labelling Classes by Sets.M. Victoria Marshall & M. Gloria Schwarze - 2005 - Archive for Mathematical Logic 44 (2):219-226.
On Nice Equivalence Relations on Λ2.Saharon Shelah - 2004 - Archive for Mathematical Logic 43 (1):31-64.
$\sum_{0}^{N}$ -Equivalence Relations.Andrea Sorbi - 1982 - Studia Logica 41 (4):351 - 358.
Continuous Versus Borel Reductions.Simon Thomas - 2009 - Archive for Mathematical Logic 48 (8):761-770.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2014-03-28

Total views
105 ( #102,228 of 2,448,300 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
4 ( #180,150 of 2,448,300 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes