An Epistemic Account Of Metaphysical Equivalence1

Philosophical Perspectives 30 (1):270-293 (2017)

Authors
Michaela McSweeney
Boston University
Abstract
I argue that, in order for us to be justified in believing that two theories are metaphysically equivalent, we must be able to conceive of them as unified into a single theory, which says nothing over and above either of them. I propose one natural way of precisifying this condition, and show that the quantifier variantist cannot meet it. I suggest that the quantifier variantist cannot meet the more general condition either, and argue that this gives the metaphysical realist a way to rule out theses like quantifier variance without appealing to fundamentality, grounding, or "levels" of reality.
Keywords metaphysical equivalence  quantifier variance  realism  fundamentality  definitional extension
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DOI 10.1111/phpe.12075
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References found in this work BETA

What Scientific Theories Could Not Be.Hans Halvorson - 2012 - Philosophy of Science 79 (2):183-206.
Ontological Pluralism.Jason Turner - 2010 - Journal of Philosophy 107 (1):5-34.
Glymour and Quine on Theoretical Equivalence.Thomas William Barrett & Hans Halvorson - 2016 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 45 (5):467-483.
Putnam's Paradox.David Lewis - 1984 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 62 (3):221 – 236.
The "Structure" of Physics: A Case Study.Jill North - 2009 - Journal of Philosophy 106 (2):57-88.

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Citations of this work BETA

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