Understanding Scientific Theories: An Assessment of Developments, 1969-1998

  title={Understanding Scientific Theories: An Assessment of Developments, 1969-1998},
  author={F. Suppe},
  journal={Philosophy of Science},
  pages={S102 - S115}
  • F. Suppe
  • Published 2000
  • Sociology, Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Science
The positivistic Received View construed scientific theories syntactically as axiomatic calculi where theoretical terms were given a partial semantic interpretation via correspondence rules connecting them to observation statements. This paper assesses what, with hindsight, seem the most important defects in the Received View; surveys the main proposed successor analyses to the Received View--various Semantic Conception versions and the Structuralist Analysis; evaluates how well they avoid… Expand
The semantic conception and the structuralist view of theories: A critique of Suppe’s criticisms
Abstract Different conceptions of scientific theories, such as the state spaces approach of Bas van Fraassen, the phase spaces approach of Frederick Suppe, the set-theoretical approach of PatrickExpand
A Finite Memory Argument for an Axiomatic Conception of Scientific Theories
This article concerns the split between syntactic and semantic approaches to scientific theories. It aims at showing that an axiomatic representation of a scientific theory is a precondition ofExpand
Physical Theories are Prescriptions, not Descriptions
This work proposes a novel construal of theories that is a prescription for interfacing with natural systems and translating local data into compact theoretical language, and argues that the essence of a physical theory is to tell us what to do when interfaced with a physical system. Expand
To Save the Semantic View: An Argument for Returning to Suppes' Interpretation
This paper identifies two common criticisms of the semantic view, describes two popular alternatives for responding to them, and argues that retuning to Patrick Suppes’ interpretation of the position provides the conceptual resources for rehabilitating the semantics view. Expand
Semantic Views on Models: An Appraisal for Science Education
If research in science education is aimed at investigating and fostering modeling competence in science classes, there emerges an unavoidable pre-requisite: ascertaining which view(s) on models – ofExpand
On a Straw Man in the Philosophy of Science: A Defense of the Received View
  • Sebastian Lutz
  • Philosophy
  • HOPOS: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science
  • 2012
The Received View on scientific theories as developed by Carnap, Hempel, and Feigl is now generally considered to have failed for a variety of reasons, bringing down a number of dependentExpand
What’s Right with a Syntactic Approach to Theories and Models?
Syntactic approaches in the philosophy of science, which are based on formalizations in predicate logic, are often considered in principle inferior to semantic approaches, which are based onExpand
Modular Semantics for Theories: An Approach to Paraconsistent Reasoning
This paper aims to show that it can analyse the inferential use of scientific theories in terms of consistent compositions of the applications of universal axioms, represented by a preferred models semantics, which allows us to accept the instances of universalAxioms selectively. Expand
Scientific Realism, the Semantic View and Evolutionary Biology
This work will analyse some of the difficulties which arise when trying to use Ontic Structural Realism to account for evolutionary biology. Expand
A Study of the Discursive Aspect of Scientific Theorizing and Modeling
This dissertation contributes to the study of scientific theories and models by using a speech-acttheoretic framework to investigate the discursive aspect of theorizing and modeling practices and defends the view that theories and model are often linguistic representations in which sentences and equations are used by scientists to say things directly about the systems they study. Expand


The Importance of Models in Theorizing: A Deflationary Semantic View
  • S. Downes
  • Computer Science
  • PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association
  • 1992
A deflationary semantic view is proposed, which is simply that model construction is an important component of theorizing in science and is consistent with a naturalized approach to the philosophy of science. Expand
On the traditional, “syntactic” conception, a scientific theory is a (preferably axiomatized) collection of statements. On the version of the opposing “semantic” conception advanced by Beatty andExpand
Explanatory unification and the causal structure of the world
The modern study of scientific explanation dates from 1948, the year of the publication of the pioneering article by C. G. Hempel and Paul Oppenheim. Nearly forty years later, philosophers rightlyExpand
Meaning Relations and Modalities
The aim of this paper is to present a certain philosophical perspective on the basic concepts of modal logic. The essentials of our approach, both philosophical and formal, are found in a previousExpand
The semantic conception of theories and scientific realism
Frederick Suppe has come to enjoy a position of undisputed leadership in the post-positivistic philosophy of science. Students of the field will therefore welcome publication of the present accountExpand
Meaning Relations among Predicates
The point of departure of this paper is a traditional distinction between two kinds of meaning relations, which we shall call relations of content and relations of intent. The subject of relations ofExpand
On the Extension of Beth's Semantics of Physical Theories
A basic aim of E. Beth's work in philosophy of science was to explore the use of formal semantic methods in the analysis of physical theories. We hope to show that a general framework for Beth'sExpand
Prediction and Theory Evaluation: The Case of Light Bending
Historical cases suggest that novelty may be of little importance in evaluating theories, and may even detract from the evidential value of a fact, until it is clear that competing theories cannot account for the new fact. Expand
Models of Data
To provide complete mathematical flexibility, I shall speak of theories axiomatized within general set theory by defining an appropriate set-theoretical predicate (e.g., ‘is a group’) rather than of theoriesAxiomatization directly within first-order logic as a formal language. Expand
Logical necessity, physical necessity, ethics, and quantifiers
Simple model‐theoretic considerations lead to a reconciliation of quantifiers with such modal concepts as logical, physical, and ethical necessity, and suggest a general class of modalities of which these are instances. Expand