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Towards a Theory of Theoretical Objects

Gordon G. Brittan, Jr.
PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association
Vol. 1986, Volume One: Contributed Papers (1986), pp. 384-393
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/193139
Page Count: 10
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Towards a Theory of Theoretical Objects
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Abstract

Traditional accounts stress certain features of theoretical objects such as their alleged imperceptibility, that are taken to raise epistemological difficulties. But these accounts do not show how theoretical objects, rightly understood, either differ in kind from more ordinary sorts of objects or make science possible. I sketch a new account that focuses on the underdetermination and similarity of theoretical objects, features closely connected to the explanatory roles they play, and construes them on an algebraic model.

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