Science And Partial Truth: A Unitary Approach To Models And Scientific Reasoning (Oxford Studies In Philosophy Of Science)

Newton C.A. da Costa; Steven French
ISBN:
019515651X

In the past thirty years, two fundamental issues have emerged in the philosophy of science. One concerns the appropriate attitude we should take towards scientific theories--whether we should regard them as true or merely empirically adequate, for example. The other concerns the nature of scientific theories and models and how these might best be represented. In this ambitious book, da Costa and French bring these two issues together by arguing that theories and models should be regarded as partially rather than wholly true. They adopt a framework that sheds new light on issues to do with belief, theory acceptance, and the realism-antirealism debate. The new machinery of 'partial structures' that they develop offers a new perspective from which to view the nature of scientific models and their heuristic development. Their conclusions will be of wide interest to philosophers and historians of science.

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