On a Straw Man in the Philosophy of Science: A Defense of the Received View

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HOPOS: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science, ISSN: 2152-5188, Vol: 2, Issue: 1, Page: 77-120

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Sebastian Lutz
University of Chicago Press, The University of Chicago Press on behalf of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science
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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 dependent philosophical analyses and contributing to the demise of logical empiricism. In a first step toward a rehabilitation of the Received View, I defend it against some major criticisms that are based on four misconceptions. First, I dispute the claim that the Received View demands axiomatizations of scientific theories in first-order logic and the further claim that the axiomatizations must include axioms for the mathematics used in the theories. Next, I contend that scientific models are important according to the Received View. Finally, I argue against the claim that the Received View is intended to make the concept of a theory more precise. Rather, it is meant as a generalizable framework for explicating specific theories.

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