Ramsey Equivalence

Erkenntnis 84 (1):77-99 (2019)

Authors
Neil Dewar
Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München
Abstract
In the literature over the Ramsey-sentence approach to structural realism, there is often debate over whether structural realists can legitimately restrict the range of the second-order quantifiers, in order to avoid the Newman problem. In this paper, I argue that even if they are allowed to, it won’t help: even if the Ramsey sentence is interpreted using such restricted quantifiers, it is still an implausible candidate to capture a theory’s structural content. To do so, I use the following observation: if a Ramsey sentence did encode a theory’s structural content, then two theories would be structurally equivalent just in case they have logically equivalent Ramsey sentences. I then argue that this criterion for structural equivalence is implausible, even where frame or Henkin semantics are used.
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DOI 10.1007/s10670-017-9948-5
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References found in this work BETA

New Work for a Theory of Universals.David Lewis - 1983 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (4):343-377.
The Scientific Image.Michael Friedman - 1982 - Journal of Philosophy 79 (5):274-283.
A Confutation of Convergent Realism.Larry Laudan - 1981 - Philosophy of Science 48 (1):19-49.
Glymour and Quine on Theoretical Equivalence.Thomas William Barrett & Hans Halvorson - 2016 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 45 (5):467-483.

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