Journal Article

Ramseyfication and Theoretical Content

Joseph Melia and Juha Saatsi

in The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science

Published on behalf of British Society for the Philosophy of Science

Volume 57, issue 3, pages 561-585
Published in print September 2006 | ISSN: 0007-0882
Published online August 2006 | e-ISSN: 1464-3537 | DOI:
Ramseyfication and Theoretical Content

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Philosophy of Science
  • Science and Mathematics


Show Summary Details


Model theoretic considerations purportedly show that a certain version of structural realism, one which articulates the nvtion of structure via Ramsey sentences, is in fact trivially true. In this paper we argue that the structural realist is by no means forced to Ramseyfy in the manner assumed in the formal proof. However, the structural realist's reprise is short-lived. For, as we show, there are related versions of the model theoretic argument which cannot be so easily blocked by the structural realist. We examine various ways in which the structural realist may respond, and conclude that the best way of blocking the model theoretic argument involves formulating his Ramseyfied theories using intensional operators.


The model theoretic arguments

On Ramseyfying away predicates

The model theoretic argument bites back

Restricting the second order quantifiers

5.1 Naturalness

5.2 Intrinsic

5.3 Qualitative

5.4 Contingent and causal

Intensional operators and relations between properties


Journal Article.  11198 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science ; Science and Mathematics

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.