Chapter

Theories and Models

Newton C. A. da Costa and Steven French

in Science and Partial Truth

Published in print November 2003 | ISBN: 9780195156515
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199785896 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/019515651X.003.0003

Series: Oxford Studies in the Philosophy of Science

 						Theories and Models

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Tarski's innovation performed a double duty in both mathematics and philosophy. In formalizing an intuitive notion of truth-as-correspondence in terms of “sentence s is true in a structure” and suggesting that other semantic notions could be defined similarly, he brought model theory into mathematics and was therefore largely responsible for the explosion of developments that resulted. Motivated by Tarski's work, it has been argued that the semantic counterpart of scientific theories is of fundamental importance, and that scientific theories should be viewed not as axiomatized sets of sentences in some suitable formal language but as classes of models. This chapter presents a “semantic” or “model-theoretic” approach in the philosophy of science based on this theory.

Keywords: model theory; philosophy of science; Tarski; partial structures; partial truth; axiomatization

Chapter.  9884 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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