In defence of (model) theory theory

Journal of Consciousness Studies 16 (6-8):6-8 (2009)
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In this paper, I present a version of theory theory, so-called model theory, according to which theories are families of models, which represent real-world phenomena when combined with relevant hypotheses, best interpreted in terms of know-how. This form of theory theory has a number of advantages over traditional forms, and is not subject to some recent charges coming from narrativity theory. Most importantly, practice is central to model theory. Practice matters because folk psychological knowledge is knowledge of the world only if it is combined with knowledge of how to apply it. By combining the general and the particular in this way, model theory gives a deep and explanatorily satisfactory account of the centrality of practice. Model theory accounts not just as well as, but better than, narrativity theory for the fact that our folk psychological explanations appear to contain, or form part of, narratives



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Heidi L. Maibom
University of Cincinnati

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