Authors
Milena Ivanova
Cambridge University
Abstract
Poincaré is well known for his conventionalism and structuralism. However, the relationship between these two theses and their place in Poincaré׳s epistemology of science remain puzzling. In this paper I show the scope of Poincaré׳s conventionalism and its position in Poincaré׳s hierarchical approach to scientific theories. I argue that for Poincaré scientific knowledge is relational and made possible by synthetic a priori, empirical and conventional elements, which, however, are not chosen arbitrarily. By examining his geometric conventionalism, his hierarchical account of science and defence of continuity in theory change, I argue that Poincaré defends a complex structuralist position based on synthetic a priori and conventional elements, the mind-dependence of which precludes epistemic access to mind-independent structures.
Keywords Conventionalism  Henri Poincaré  Neo-Kantianism  Structural realism  Synthetic a priori
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DOI 10.1016/j.shpsb.2015.03.003
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References found in this work BETA

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Citations of this work BETA

Conventionalism About Time Direction.Matt Farr - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-21.
Poincaré’s Aesthetics of Science.Milena Ivanova - 2017 - Synthese 194 (7):2581-2594.
String Dualities and Empirical Equivalence.Richard Dawid - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 59:21-29.
Theory (In-)Equivalence and Conventionalism in F(R) Gravity.Patrick M. Duerr - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 88:10-29.

View all 10 citations / Add more citations

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