Semantic view of theories


Semantic view of theories

The semantic view of theories is a position in the philosophy of science that holds that a scientific theory can be identified with a collection of models. The semantic view of theories was originally proposed by Patrick Suppes in “A Comparison of the Meaning and Uses of Models in Mathematics and the Empirical Sciences” [Suppes, P. (1960), “A Comparison of the Meaning and Uses of Models in Mathematicsand the Empirical Sciences,” Synthese 12: 287-301.] as a reaction against the received view of theories popular among the logical positivists. Many varieties of the semantic view propose identifying theories with a class of set-theoretic models in the Tarskian sense, [Suppes, P. (1960) and da Costa, Newton C. A., and Steven French (1990), “The Model-Theoretic Approach in the Philosophy of Science”, Philosophy of Science 57: 248–265. ] while others specify models in the mathematical language stipulated by the field of which the theory is a member [van Fraassen, Bas C. (1980), The Scientific Image. Oxford: Clarendon. and Suppe, Frederick (1989), The Semantic Conception of Theories and Scientific Realism. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.]

External links

The Semantic View of Theories: Models and Misconceptions [http://artsweb.uwaterloo.ca/~mmcewan/LSE%20Presentation.pdf]

Notes


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