Theories looking for domains. Fact or fiction? Reversing structuralist truth approximation


The structuralist theory of truth approximation essen-tially deals with truth approximation by theory revision for a fixed domain. However, variable domains can also be taken into account, where the main changes concern domain extensions and restrictions. In this paper I will present a coherent set of definitions of “more truth-likeness”, “empirical progress” and “truth approximation” due to a revision of the domain of intended applications. This set of definitions seems to be the natural counterpart of the basic definitions of similar notions as far as theory revision is concerned. The formal aspects of theory revision strongly suggest an analogy between truth approximation and design research, for example, drug research. Whereas a new drug may be better for a certain disease than an old one, a certain drug may be better for another disease than for the original target disease, a phenomenon which was nicely captured by the title of a study by Rein Vos [1991]: Drugs Looking for Diseases. Similarly, truth approximation may not only take the shape of theory revision but also of domain revision, naturally suggesting the phenomenon of “Theories looking for domains”. However, whereas Vos documented his title with a number of examples, so far, apart from plausible cases of “truth accumulation by domain extension”, I did not find clear-cut empirical instantiations of the analogy, only, as such, very interesting, non-empirical examples



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 76,168

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

  • Only published works are available at libraries.

Similar books and articles

Toward a geometrical theory of truth approximation: Reply to Thomas Mormann.Theo A. F. Kuipers - 2005 - Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities 83 (1):455-457.
Another start for abduction aiming at empirical progress: Reply to joke Meheus.Theo A. F. Kuipers - 2005 - Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities 83 (1):218-220.
The instrumentalist abduction task and the nature of empirical counterexamples: Reply to Atocha Aliseda.Theo A. F. Kuipers - 2005 - Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities 83 (1):190-192.
The status of psychoanalytic theory.B. A. Farrell - 1964 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 7 (1-4):104 – 123.
Epistemological Positions in the Light of Truth Approximation.Theo A. F. Kuipers - 2001 - The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy 2001:79-88.


Added to PP

27 (#433,162)

6 months
2 (#297,430)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references