Are There No Things That are Scientific Theories?

British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (4):771-804 (2011)
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Abstract

The ontological status of theories themselves has recently re-emerged as a live topic in the philosophy of science. We consider whether a recent approach within the philosophy of art can shed some light on this issue. For many years philosophers of aesthetics have debated a paradox in the (meta)ontology of musical works (e.g. Levinson [1980]). Taken individually, there are good reasons to accept each of the following three propositions: (i) musical works are created; (ii) musical works are abstract objects; (iii) abstract objects cannot be created. However it seems clear that, if one wants to avoid inconsistency, one cannot commit to all three. Following up recent developments courtesy of Cameron ([2008a]), we consider how one might respond to the corresponding set of propositions in the (meta)ontology of scientific theories

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Author Profiles

Steven French
University of Leeds
Peter Vickers
Durham University

Citations of this work

An Ontology of Words.Nurbay Irmak - 2019 - Erkenntnis 84 (5):1139-1158.
Realism and its representational vehicles.Steven French - 2017 - Synthese 194 (9):3311-3326.
Imagination in Scientific Practice.Steven French - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10 (3):1-19.
Authorship and Creation.Nurbay Irmak - 2021 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 79 (2):175-185.

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References found in this work

How the Laws of Physics Lie.Nancy Cartwright - 1983 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Truth and Truthmakers.D. M. Armstrong - 2004 - Cambridge University Press.
The Logic of Scientific Discovery.K. Popper - 1959 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 10 (37):55-57.

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