Synthese 192 (11):3413-3423 (2015)
Philosophers of science have long been concerned with the question of what a given scientific theory tells us about the contents of the world, but relatively little attention has been paid to how we set out to build theories and to the relevance of pre-theoretical methodology on a theory’s interpretation. In the traditional view, the form and content of a mature theory can be separated from any tentative ontological assumptions that went into its development. For this reason, the target of interpretation is taken to be the mature theory and nothing more. On this view, positions on ontology emerge only once a theory is to hand, not as part of the process of theory building. Serious attention to theory creation suggests this is too simple. In particular, data collection and experimentation are influenced both by theory and by assumptions about the entities thought to be the target of study. Initial reasoning about possible ontologies has an influence on the choice of theoretical variables as well as on the judgments of the methodology appropriate to investigate them.
|Keywords||theory building scientific realism ontology science theory change methodology|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
References found in this work BETA
Interpreting Quantum Theories: The Art of the Possible.Laura Ruetsche - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
Scientific Misrepresentation and Guides to Ontology: The Need for Representational Code and Contents.Elay Shech - 2015 - Synthese 192 (11):3463-3485.
Methodological Realism and Modal Resourcefulness: Out of the Web and Into the Mine.Lydia Patton - 2015 - Synthese 192 (11):3443-3462.
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