Theory change as dimensional change: conceptual spaces applied to the dynamics of empirical theories
Synthese 190 (6):1039-1058 (2013)
This paper offers a novel way of reconstructing conceptual change in empirical theories. Changes occur in terms of the structure of the dimensions—that is to say, the conceptual spaces—underlying the conceptual framework within which a given theory is formulated. Five types of changes are identified: (1) addition or deletion of special laws, (2) change in scale or metric, (3) change in the importance of dimensions, (4) change in the separability of dimensions, and (5) addition or deletion of dimensions. Given this classification, the conceptual development of empirical theories becomes more gradual and rationalizable. Only the most extreme type—replacement of dimensions—comes close to a revolution. The five types are exemplified and applied in a case study on the development within physics from the original Newtonian mechanics to special relativity theory
|Keywords||Conceptual spaces Dimensional analysis Incommensurability Newtonian mechanics Scientific revolution Special relativity theory Theory change|
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References found in this work BETA
The Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes.Imre Lakatos - 1978 - Cambridge University Press.
The Essential Tension: Selected Studies in Scientific Tradition and Change. [REVIEW]David Zaret - 1977 - Philosophical Review 90 (1):146-149.
Citations of this work BETA
Modeling Diachronic Changes in Structuralism and in Conceptual Spaces.Frank Zenker & Peter Gärdenfors - 2013 - Erkenntnis 79 (S8):1-15.
From Euler to Navier–Stokes: A Spatial Analysis of Conceptual Changes in Nineteenth-Century Fluid Dynamics.Graciana Petersen & Frank Zenker - 2014 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 28 (3):235-253.
Using Conceptual Spaces to Exhibit Conceptual Continuity Through Scientific Theory Change.George Masterton, Frank Zenker & Peter Gärdenfors - 2017 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 7 (1):127-150.
A Geometric Principle of Indifference.Lieven Decock, Igor Douven & Marta Sznajder - 2016 - Journal of Applied Logic 19 (2):54-70.
Knowledge and Approximate Knowledge.Lieven Decock, Igor Douven, Christoph Kelp & Sylvia Wenmackers - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (S6):1129-1150.
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