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The Reference of Theoretical Terms

Dürr, Renate

A popular explanation of the success of theories of science is that of scientific realism. It maintains, besides that the theories of a mature science are typically approximately true, that observational terms and theoretical terms refer to or denote entities. Therefore it is part of the realistic claim that "reference" explains "success." But if the realist is not able to clarify "reference" and a fortiori the reference on theoretical objects, the realist comes to a vicious circle, for there is no further criterion as the success of the theory to show that the term is referential. So it is necessary to clarify the notion "reference." Needless to say, "reference" is a relational term; but it easily becomes a problem that we are not only habituated to imagine the elation but we are convinced that a relation is just a relation between entities in a strict (viz., Quinian) sense. There are different kinds of references. For example, one is usually called "intentionality." If we, considering the traditional separation between reference and meaning, analyze meaning, we will find at least one referential component (intentional object). ... mehr

DOI: 10.5840/wcp20-paideia199832535
Zugehörige Institution(en) am KIT Institut für Geschichte (GESCHICHTE)
Institut für Philosophie (PHIL)
Institut für Technikzukünfte (ITZ)
Publikationstyp Proceedingsbeitrag
Publikationsjahr 1999
Sprache Englisch
Identifikator ISBN: 978-1-889680-19-4
KITopen-ID: 1000125491
Erschienen in The Paideia Archive : 20th World Congress of Philosophy "Paideia: Philosophy Educating Humanity". Ed.: A. M. Olson
Veranstaltung 20th World Congress of Philosophy (WCP 1998), Boston, MA, USA, 10.08.1998 – 15.08.1998
Verlag Philosophy Documentation Center
Seiten 31-34
Serie Philosophy of language ; 32
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