Physical Laws, Physical Entities and Ontology

Dialectica 31 (3‐4):273-299 (1977)
Abstract
We investigate the way physical laws objectively refer to the entities they are about. Laws of mathematical physics do not refer directly to the “real world” but to an ideal specific domain of objects, which we term “scope”. In order to find out which real objects physical laws deal with, reference to the scope is not sufficient. We need in addition the search for domains to which laws apply — i. e. “empirical domains”— in order to establish their reference to the “real world”. It is just in such empirical domains that we are able to discover the real entities physical laws objectively refer to. “Physical reality” turns out to be not something “given” but rather something “to come out” of the very process of scientific inquiry
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DOI 10.1111/j.1746-8361.1977.tb01289.x
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References found in this work BETA
Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge.Imre Lakatos & Alan Musgrave (eds.) - 1970 - Cambridge University Press.
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - University of Chicago Press.
Ontological Relativity and Other Essays.W. V. Quine - 1969 - Columbia University Press.
Against Method.Paul Feyerabend - 1975 - London: New Left Books.
Philosophy of Natural Science.Carl G. Hempel - 1966 - Englewood Cliffs, N.J., Prentice-Hall.

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