Ramseyfication and structural realism

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THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science, ISSN: 2171-679X, Vol: 19, Issue: 1, Page: 5-30

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Zahar, Elie G
Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea / Universidad del País Vasco
article description
Structural Realism (SSR), as embodied in the Ramsey-sentence H* of a theory H, is defended against the view that H* reduces to a trivial statement about the cardinality of the domain of H, a view which arises from ignoring the central role of observation within science. Putnam’s theses are examined and shown to support rather than undermine SSR. Finally: in view of its synthetic character, applied mathematics must enter into the formulation of H* and hence be shown to be finitely axiomatisable; this is done in the Appendix, which is the most important part of the paper.