Reinflating the semantic approach

The semantic, or model-theoretic, approach to theories has recently come under criticism on two fronts: (i) it is claimed that it cannot account for the wide diversity of models employed in scientific practice—a claim which has led some to propose a “deflationary” account of models; (ii) it is further contended that the sense of “model” used by the approach differs from that given in model theory. Our aim in the present work is to articulate a possible response to these claims, drawing on recent developments within the semantic approach itself. Thus, the first is answered by utilizing the notion of a “partial structure”, first introduced in this context by da Costa and French in 1990. The second claim is undermined by consideration of van Fraassen's understanding of “model” which corresponds well with that evinced by modem mathematicians. This latter discussion, in particular, has an impact on the continuing debate regarding the relative merits of the semantic and syntactic views and the developments presented here can be taken to provide further support to the former.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/02698599908573612
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 30,781
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Explaining Science: A Cognitive Approach.Ronald N. Giere - 1988 - Philosophical Review 100 (4):653-656.
Models and Analogies in Science.Mary B. Hesse - 1963 - University of Notre Dame Press.
The Structure of Scientific Theories.Frederick Suppe (ed.) - 1974 - Urbana, University of Illinois Press.
Models and Metaphors.Max Black - 1962 - Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

View all 24 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
The Strategy of Model-Based Science.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2006 - Biology and Philosophy 21 (5):725-740.
Models and Fiction.Roman Frigg - 2010 - Synthese 172 (2):251-268.
Modelling and Representing: An Artefactual Approach to Model-Based Representation.Tarja Knuuttila - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 42 (2):262-271.
Models and Fictions in Science.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 143 (1):101 - 116.

View all 47 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Quasi-Truth, Supervaluations and Free Logic.Newton C. A. da Costa & Otavio Bueno - 1999 - History and Philosophy of Logic 20 (3-4):215-226.
Models, Theories, and Structures: Thirty Years On.Steven French - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (S1):S116 - S127.
A Model Theoretic Approach to 'Natural' Reasoning.Newton C. A. da Costa & Steven French - 1993 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 7 (2):177-190.
Scientific Theories, Models and the Semantic Approach.Décio Krause & Otávio Bueno - 2007 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 11 (2):187-201.
Can Partial Structures Accommodate Inconsistent Science?Peter Vickers - 2009 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 13 (2):233-250-.
The Importance of Models in Theorizing: A Deflationary Semantic View.Stephen M. Downes - 1992 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1992:142 - 153.
Added to PP index

Total downloads
161 ( #30,174 of 2,199,744 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
11 ( #18,473 of 2,199,744 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature