Abstract
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 failure and success, a metaphor approach to reference fixing provides the basis for a plausible realist account of the progress of science. Indeed, the metaphor approach undermines the sceptical force of the meta-induction and Laudan's objections to scientific realism.
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DOI 10.1093/bjps/43.1.21
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Erkenntnistheoretische Und Ontologische Probleme der Theoretischen Begriffe.Marco Buzzoni - 1997 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 28 (1):19-53.
Theoretical Terms and the Principle of the Benefit of Doubt.Igor Douven - 2000 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 14 (2):135 – 146.
Why Does Laudan’s Confutation of Convergent Realism Fail?Antonio Diéguez-Lucena - 2006 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 37 (2):393 - 403.
Why Does Laudan’s Confutation of Convergent Realism Fail?Antonio Diéguez-Lucena - 2006 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 37 (2):393-403.

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