Reinflating the semantic approach

Abstract
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.
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DOI 10.1080/02698599908573612
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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.
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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

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