Synthese 118 (2):229-256 (1999)

Authors
Chuang Liu
University of Florida
Abstract
Traditional theories construe approximate truth or truthlikeness as a measure of closeness to facts, singular facts, and idealization as an act of either assuming zero of otherwise very small differences from facts or imagining ideal conditions under which scientific laws are either approximately true or will be so when the conditions are relaxed. I first explain the serious but not insurmountable difficulties for the theories of approximation, and then argue that more serious and perhaps insurmountable difficulties for the theory of idealization force us to sever its close tie to approximation. This leads to an appreciation of lawlikeness as a measure of closeness to laws, which I argue is the real measure of idealization whose main purpose is to carve nature at its joints.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy   Epistemology   Logic   Metaphysics   Philosophy of Language
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Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1005186322310
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References found in this work BETA

On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Wiley-Blackwell.
Laws and Symmetry.Bas C. Van Fraassen - 1989 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
What is a Law of Nature?D. M. Armstrong - 1983 - Cambridge University Press.
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The Logic of Scientific Discovery.K. Popper - 1959 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 10 (37):55-57.

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Citations of this work BETA

Truth-Seeking by Abduction.Ilkka Niiniluoto - 2018 - Cham, Switzerland: Springer.
Verisimilitude: A Causal Approach.Robert Northcott - 2013 - Synthese 190 (9):1471-1488.
Counterfactuals and Scientific Realism.Michael J. Shaffer - 2012 - London and Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.

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Laws and Models in a Theory of Idealization.Chuang Liu - 2004 - Synthese 138 (3):363 - 385.
Approximate Generalizations and Their Idealization.Ernest W. Adams - 1982 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1982:199 - 207.

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