Theory-dependent terms

Philosophy of Science 63 (1):1-20 (1996)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

The main puzzle about theoretical definitions is that nothing seems to decide which assumptions contribute to such definitions and which do not. I argue that theoretical definitions are indeed imprecise, but that this does not normally matter, since the definitional imprecision does not normally produce indeterminacy of referential value. Sometimes, however, the definitional imprecision is less benign, and does generate referential indeterminacy. In these special cases, but not otherwise, it is necessary to refine the term's definition

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,075

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Analytics

Added to PP
2009-01-28

Downloads
204 (#98,445)

6 months
27 (#110,577)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

David Papineau
King's College London

Citations of this work

What is structural realism?James Ladyman - 1998 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 29 (3):409-424.
Quantum Humeanism, or: Physicalism without Properties.Michael Esfeld - 2014 - Philosophical Quarterly 64 (256):453-470.
Empirical adequacy and ramsification.Jeffrey Ketland - 2004 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (2):287-300.

View all 67 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

Two Dogmas of Empiricism.Willard V. O. Quine - 1951 - Philosophical Review 60 (1):20–43.
The Foundations of Mathematics and Other Logical Essays.Frank Plumpton Ramsey - 1925 - London, England: Routledge & Kegan Paul. Edited by R. B. Braithwaite.
Psychophysical and theoretical identifications.David K. Lewis - 1972 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 50 (3):249-258.
How to define theoretical terms.David Lewis - 1970 - Journal of Philosophy 67 (13):427-446.
Two Dogmas of Empiricism.W. V. Quine - 1951 - Philosophical Review 60 (1):20-43.

View all 13 references / Add more references