Erkenntnis (S8):1-18 (2010)

Authors
Sebastian Lutz
Uppsala University
Abstract
Syntactic approaches in the philosophy of science, which are based on formalizations in predicate logic, are often considered in principle inferior to semantic approaches, which are based on formalizations with the help of structures. To compare the two kinds of approach, I identify some ambiguities in common semantic accounts and explicate the concept of a structure in a way that avoids hidden references to a specific vocabulary. From there, I argue that contrary to common opinion (i) unintended models do not pose a significant problem for syntactic approaches to scientific theories, (ii) syntactic approaches can be at least as language-independent as semantic ones, and (iii) in syntactic approaches, scientific theories can be as well connected to the world as in semantic ones. Based on these results, I argue that syntactic and semantic approaches fare equally well when it comes to (iv) ease of application, (v) accommodating the use of models in the sciences, and (vi) capturing the theory-observation relation
Keywords syntactic approach  syntactic view  received view  semantic approach  semantic view  structuralism  scientific models  formalization  language independence
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Reprint years 2012, 2014
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DOI 10.1007/s10670-013-9578-5
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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.
What Numbers Could Not Be.Paul Benacerraf - 1965 - Philosophical Review 74 (1):47-73.

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Citations of this work BETA

Sophistication About Symmetries.Neil Dewar - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (2):485-521.
What Was the Syntax‐Semantics Debate in the Philosophy of Science About?Sebastian Lutz - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 95 (2):319-352.
On a Straw Man in the Philosophy of Science - A Defense of the Received View.Sebastian Lutz - 2012 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 2 (1):77–120.

View all 16 citations / Add more citations

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