The Nature and Structure of Scientific Theories

C. Ulises Moulines

Resumen


In philosophy of science two questions become central in the discussion of the nature of empirical science: 1) What is a (scientific) theory, i.e. how is it built up, how does it work? And: 2) How does a theory relate to its corresponding experiential basis? To deal with these two questions modern philosophy of science has devised various (meta-theoretical) ‘models’ on the nature and working of scientific theories. Some aspects of these models are widely held within the community of philosophers of science, but others are still being discussed quite controversially. In this paper, we will consider both kinds of aspects. Particularly, we will analyze how the meaning of scientific concepts is determined; the axiomatic construction of a scientific theory; the idea of model building views as a bridge between theory and experience; the holistic semantic thesis of science; the question about the true of scientific theories; and, finally, the hierarchic structure of theories.


Palabras clave


scientific theories; structure; semantics; models

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