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Scientific Models and the Semantic View of Scientific Theories

Demetris P. Portides
Philosophy of Science
Vol. 72, No. 5, Proceedings of the 2004 Biennial Meeting of The Philosophy of Science AssociationPart I: Contributed PapersEdited by Miriam Solomon (December 2005), pp. 1287-1298
DOI: 10.1086/508125
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/508125
Page Count: 12
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Scientific Models and the Semantic View of Scientific Theories
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Abstract

I argue against the conception of scientific models advocated by the proponents of the Semantic View of scientific theories. Part of the paper is devoted to clarifying the important features of the scientific modeling view that the Semantic conception entails. The liquid drop model of nuclear structure is analyzed in conjunction with the particular auxiliary hypothesis that is the guiding force behind its construction and it is argued that it does not meet the necessary features to render it a model of the theory, as the Semantic View demands. Given that this model is indicative of how quantum mechanics is applied in the domain of nuclear physics, I claim that the Semantic View does not adequately account for scientific models.

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