Using Scott domains to explicate the notions of approximate and idealized data

Philosophy of Science 54 (2):194-221 (1987)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

This paper utilizes Scott domains (continuous lattices) to provide a mathematical model for the use of idealized and approximately true data in the testing of scientific theories. Key episodes from the history of science can be understood in terms of this model as attempts to demonstrate that theories are monotonic, that is, yield better predictions when fed better or more realistic data. However, as we show, monotonicity and truth of theories are independent notions. A formal description is given of the pragmatic virtues of theories which are monotonic. We also introduce the stronger concept of continuity and show how it relates to the finite nature of scientific computations. Finally, we show that the space of theories also has the structure of a Scott domain. This result provides an analysis of how one theory can be said to approximate another

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 74,181

External links

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

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Theory Status, Inductive Realism, and Approximate Truth: No Miracles, No Charades.Shelby D. Hunt - 2011 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 25 (2):159 - 178.
Laws and Models in a Theory of Idealization.Chuang Liu - 2004 - Synthese 138 (3):363 - 385.
In Defense of Extreme (Fallibilistic) Apriorism.B. Smith - 1996 - Journal of Libertarian Studies 12 (1):179–192.
Approximate Truth and Scientific Realism.Thomas Weston - 1992 - Philosophy of Science 59 (1):53-74.
Approximate Truth and Dynamical Theories.Peter Smith - 1998 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 49 (2):253-277.
Partial Convergence and Approximate Truth.Duncan Macintosh - 1994 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 45 (1):153-170.

Analytics

Added to PP
2009-01-28

Downloads
63 (#186,599)

6 months
1 (#413,813)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Ronald Laymon
Ohio State University

Citations of this work

Truthlikeness: Old and New Debates.Ilkka Niiniluoto - 2020 - Synthese 197 (4):1581-1599.
Survey Article. Verisimilitude: The Third Period.Ilkka Niiniluoto - 1998 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 49 (1):1-29.
Explaining with Models: The Role of Idealizations.Julie Jebeile & Ashley Graham Kennedy - 2015 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 29 (4):383-392.

View all 16 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

The Aim and Structure of Physical Theory.Pierre Duhem & Philip P. Wiener - 1955 - Science and Society 19 (1):85-87.
An Unreal Image. [REVIEW]John Worrall - 1984 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 35 (1):65-80.

View all 11 references / Add more references