Theory Change and the Indeterminacy of Reference

Hartry Field

in Truth and the Absence of Fact

Published in print March 2001 | ISBN: 9780199242894
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597381 | DOI:
 Theory Change and the Indeterminacy of Reference

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There is a natural argument for the incommensurability of scientific theories, based on examples where there is more than one equally good candidate for what an earlier term referred to. The chapter argues that such examples actually do not support incommensurability in any very serious sense. They do show a difficulty in applying standard semantic vocabulary in a determinate way to such earlier theories, but the chapter argues for a generalization of semantic vocabulary that largely avoids the difficulties. Includes a new postscript.

Keywords: incommensurability; indeterminacy; reference; supervaluation; theory change; truth

Chapter.  11555 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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