Are There No Things That are Scientific Theories?

Authors
Steven French
University of Leeds
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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DOI 10.1093/bjps/axr011
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References found in this work BETA

How to Have a Radically Minimal Ontology.Ross P. Cameron - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 151 (2):249 - 264.
Theories: Tools Versus Models.Mauricio Suárez & Nancy Cartwright - 2007 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 39 (1):62-81.

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Citations of this work BETA

Realism and its Representational Vehicles.Steven French - 2017 - Synthese 194 (9):3311-3326.
Fictionalism.E. C. Bourne - 2013 - Analysis 73 (1):147-162.

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