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1 L2: Structures 2: Observational laws and proper theories. SSC: S2 (9-12), S12 (40) Nagel: intuitive distinction: +/- theoretical terms Dynamic factor for explanatory programs and between descriptive and explanatory programs However: no theory-free/-neutral observation terms Hence, explication to be based on a theory-relative explication of theoretical and observation terms Ex. the ideal gas law: first/second face

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2 Theory-relative explication proper theory: terms laden with theory itself observational laws: improper theories epistemological distinction/stratification byproducts: –the hierarchy of knowledge and the long-term dynamics –disentanglement “theory-ladenness of observations”: example: the periodic table of the chemical elements

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3 Fragment from the hierarchy of knowledge

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4 Classification of observations in relation to theory X

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5 Ontological stratification Two essentially independent distinctions that frequently go together ontological: two (or more) kinds of entities, one kind being components of the other micro-level and macro-level principles that only concern the micro-entities: micro- or internal principles, principles that connect: bridge principles atomic theory: both stratifications

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6 Non-empirical theories metaphysical theories are supposed to make claims about reality without assuming any particular conceptualization or, equivalently, they make claims generalizing over conceivable conceptualizations of reality mathematical and logical theories deal with defined abstract objects, i.e., mental constructs, e.g., group theory conceptual theories concern ways of looking (perspectives) at a certain domain, normative theories deal with what is (supposed to be) ethically, legally, aesthetically (in)admissible

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7 The structuralist approach to (empirical) theories Ex: the slide balance

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8 The naïve theory ------> contains iff 1) P is a finite set(particles) and Pl a subset of P (particles left of S ) 2) d: P IR + ( d(p) : distance p S ) SBp 3) w: P IR + ( w(p) : weight of p ) 4) the law of the balance SB p Pl d(p).w(p) = p P Pl d(p).w(p)

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9 Naïve claims SBp SB empirical content:: non-empty E SBp conceptual claim: the intended domain of applications D can be represented as potential models, the naïve intended applications E SB naive weak empirical claim the intended applications are equilibrium models E=SB naive strong empirical claim SBp SB

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10 The refined theory ------> contains iff ---> contains = iff 1) P is a finite set(particles) and Pl a subset of P (particles of S ) SBpp 2) d: P IR + ( d(p) : distance p S ) SBp 3) w: P IR + ( w(p) : weight of p ) 4) the law of the balance SB p Pl d(p).w(p) = p P Pl d(p).w(p)

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11 Refined claims SBpp SB empirical content without w -constraint empty, with w - constraint non-empty E SBpp conceptual claim: the intended domain of applications D can be represented as potential partial models, the refined intended applications E SB weak empirical claim the intended applications can be extended to models E= SB strong empirical claim

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12 is an epistemologically stratified theory iff Mp :potential models: a set of structures of a certain type Mpp :potential partial models: the substructures of Mp restricted to non-theoretical components M models: the potential models ( M Mp) satisfying all axioms : Mp Mpp :the projection function (from Mp onto Mpp ) X={ (x)/x X}, for X Mp, hence X Mpp M :projected models Mpp M :empirical content D :intended domain of applications I Mpp :intended applications (non-theoretical): conceptual claim: non-theoretical representation of D leads to the subset I of Mpp I M :empirical claim (strong claim: I = M )

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13 Refined empirical claim: shaded area empty

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14 Mpp (potential partial models):NA Mp (potential models):NA + TA Mpart (partial models): NA + NS M (models): NA + TA + NS + TS Decomposition of axioms by controversial distinction(s) A/S: analytic / substantive axioms N/T: non-theoretical / theoretical

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15 Absolute and relative empirical content Mpp M :(absolute) empirical content AEC Mpp Mpart :partial empirical content PEC Mpart M: relative empirical content REC

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16 The set of intended applications I, and its determination “I is D seen through Mpp” Determination of D, Mpp (hence I), Mp, M is a ‘dialectical process’ If Mpp is supposed to be fixed, 3 ways for I –empirical determination: if interested in all nomic Mpp- possibilities To (or a well-defined subset of it) –auto-determination: I = To M –paradigmatic determination, see below Always: two sides:conceptually relative & objective

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17 Definition: I is paradigmatically determined if there are PAR and SIM such that 0. To : set of nomic Mpp-possibilities 1. I is a subset of To the intended applications 2. PAR is a finite subset of I the paradigmatic examples 3. SIM is a binary relation on Mpp a similarity relation 4. for all x in I PAR there is y in PAR such that SIM(x,y)

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18 Mpp

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19 Constraints of and links between theories Definition: C is a constraint on the set S iff 1) C is a set of subsets of S 2) the union of the sets in C exhausts S ( UC=S ) 3) if X is in C and Y is a subset of X then Y is in C (subset-preservation) Links specialization: subsets of D and/or M theoretization: (new) theoretical components reduction: reproduction of one theory in another

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20 A theory net

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21 Hiërarchie van epistemologische posities Q0: onafhankelijke natuurwerkelijkheid?Nee ontologisch idealisme Ja: ontologisch realisme Q1: ware claims mogelijk?Nee epistemologisch relativisme - ervarings-scepticisme Ja: epistemologisch realisme - inductief scepticisme Q2: voorbij waarneembaar?Nee observational realisme - instrumentalisme Ja: wetenschappelijk realisme - constructief empiricisme Q3: voorbij referentie?Nee referentieel realisme entiteiten realisme Ja: theorie-realisme Q4: ideale conceptualisering?Nee constructief realisme Ja: essentialistisch realisme

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22 Vier perspectieven voor theorie-realisme

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23 Soorten actuele en nomische waarheidsbenadering PM: het beste afleidingsinstrument: instrumentalist observationeel: constructive empiricist referentieel:referentieel realist theoretisch:constructief realist essentialistisch:essentialistisch realist PM: “de waarheid”: de sterkste ware theorie over een gegeven domein in een gegeven vocabulair

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24 Conclusies ICR vooruitblik: How to approach the truth? goede redenen voor overstap:instrumentalist 1 constructief empiricist 2 referentieel realist 3 constructief realist, maar niet voor 4 essentialist 1,2 3 tbv lange termijn dynamiek: theorieën als waar accepteren levert nieuwe observatietermen instrumentalistische methode efficiënter voor waarheids- benadering dan falsificationistische methode hiërarchie van heuristische posities, geen dogma –everything goes sometimes –reculer pour mieux sauter

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