Theory change, structural realism, and the relativised a priori


Authors
Daniel McArthur
York University
Abstract
In this paper I claim that Quinean naturalist accounts of science, that deny that there are any a priori statements in scientific frameworks, cannot account for the foundational role of certain classes of statements in scientific practice. In this I follow Michael Friedman who claims that certain a priori statements must be presupposed in order to formulate empirical hypotheses. I also show that Friedman's account, in spite of his claims to the contrary, is compatible with a type of non-Quinean naturalism that I sketch. Finally I also show that Friedman's account needs amending because it cannot provide a rational account of theory change. I accomplish this by arguing for a structural realist view of theory change. I show how this view fits well with an account like Friedman's and helps it deal with the problem of theory change and in retaining its superiority over Quinean naturalism.
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DOI 10.1080/02698590802280860
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References found in this work BETA

What is Structural Realism?James Ladyman - 1998 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 29 (3):409-424.

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Citations of this work BETA

Friedman’s Relativised A Priori and Structural Realism: In Search of Compatibility.Milena Ivanova - 2011 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 25 (1):23 - 37.

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Similar books and articles

Normative Naturalism and the Relativised a Priori.Dan McArthur - 2005 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 36 (2):331 - 350.
Laudan, Friedman and the Role of the A Priori in Science.Dan McArthur - 2007 - Journal of Philosophical Research 32:169-190.
Friedman’s Relativised A Priori and Structural Realism: In Search of Compatibility.Milena Ivanova - 2011 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 25 (1):23 - 37.

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