Synthese 199 (1-2):3711-3737 (2021)

Authors
Ryan Mark Nefdt
University of Cape Town
Abstract
Linguistics as a science has rapidly changed during the course of a relatively short period. The mathematical foundations of the science, however, present a different story below the surface. In this paper, I argue that due to the former, the seismic shifts in theory over the past 80 years opens linguistics up to the problem of pessimistic meta-induction or radical theory change. I further argue that, due to the latter, one current solution to this problem in the philosophy of science, namely structural realism :403–424, 1998; French in Proc Aristot Soc 106:167–185, 2006), should be viewed as especially enticing for linguists, as their field is a largely structural enterprise. I discuss particular historical instances of theory change in generative syntax before investigating two views on the nature of structural properties and eventually proposing an approach in terms of invariance :162–186, 2015) as a grounding for structural realism in the history and philosophy of linguistics.
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-020-02952-1
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References found in this work BETA

Aspects of the Theory of Syntax.Noam Chomsky - 1965 - Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
The Scientific Image.William Demopoulos & Bas C. van Fraassen - 1982 - Philosophical Review 91 (4):603.

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