Embeddability, syntax, and semantics in accounts of scientific theories

Journal of Philosophical Logic 19 (4):429 - 451 (1990)
Recently several philosophers of science have proposed what has come to be known as the semantic account of scientific theories. It is presented as an improvement on the positivist account, which is now called the syntactic account of scientific theories. Bas van Fraassen claims that the syntactic account does not give a satisfactory definition of "empirical adequacy" and "empirical equivalence". He contends that his own semantic account does define these notations acceptably, through the concept of "embeddability", a concept which he claims cannot be defined syntactically. Here, I define a syntactic relation which corresponds to the semantic relation of "embeddability". I suggest that the critical differences between the positivist account and van Fraassen's account have nothing to do with the distinction between semantics and syntax
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DOI 10.1007/BF00263319
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