Constitutive Frameworks

Christopher Pincock

in Mathematics and Scientific Representation

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199757107
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199932313 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in the Philosophy of Science

Constitutive Frameworks

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This chapter considers the proposals of Carnap, Kuhn and Michael Friedman to the effect that there is a special kind of constitutive representation against which more ordinary, derivative representations are successful. After criticizing Carnap’s and Kuhn’s positions, Pincock extracts a defensible claim from Friedman which links mathematics to a new sort of epistemic benefit. These arise when a belief in a set of representations is a necessary condition on confirming some associated set of derivative representations. This chapter concludes by considering the need for such representations and suggests that they are possible only if the relevant mathematics is largely justified prior to its use in science.

Keywords: A priori; relative a priori; presupposition; linguistic frameworks; paradigms

Chapter.  11047 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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