Philosophy of Science 79 (2):183-206 (2012)

Authors
Hans Halvorson
Princeton University
Abstract
According to the semantic view of scientific theories, theories are classes of models. I show that this view -- if taken seriously as a formal explication -- leads to absurdities. In particular, this view equates theories that are truly distinct, and it distinguishes theories that are truly equivalent. Furthermore, the semantic view lacks the resources to explicate interesting theoretical relations, such as embeddability of one theory into another. The untenability of the semantic view -- as currently formulated -- threatens to undermine scientific structuralism.
Keywords semantic view of scientific theories  received view of scientific theories  structural realism  constructive empiricism
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DOI 10.1086/664745
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References found in this work BETA

Laws and Symmetry.Bas C. Van Fraassen - 1989 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
The Scientific Image.William Demopoulos & Bas C. van Fraassen - 1982 - Philosophical Review 91 (4):603.
The Scientific Image.Michael Friedman - 1982 - Journal of Philosophy 79 (5):274-283.
What is Structural Realism?James Ladyman - 1998 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 29 (3):409-424.

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Citations of this work BETA

Glymour and Quine on Theoretical Equivalence.Thomas William Barrett & Hans Halvorson - 2016 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 45 (5):467-483.
Sophistication About Symmetries.Neil Dewar - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (2):485-521.
What Theoretical Equivalence Could Not Be.Trevor Teitel - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (12):4119-4149.
What Was the Syntax‐Semantics Debate in the Philosophy of Science About?Sebastian Lutz - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 95 (2):319-352.

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