Download e-book for iPad: A century of mathematics in America. by Peter Duren

By Peter Duren

ISBN-10: 0821801244

ISBN-13: 9780821801246

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The following analysis and line of objection is based in part on the ideas of my student Ralph Kenat. Prologue / 37 18. Ralph Kenat, unpublished paper, "Some Critical Problems with van Fraassen's Scientific Image" written for a seminar I gave on the Semantic Conception. 19. It certainly made light being propagated in individual particles part of the phenomena, and for van Fraassen the phenomena arejust the observables (1980, 56). Thus it follows that it is observable. Michael Friedman (1983a) has argued that assessing the reality of the space-time manifold in general relativity theory allows for a richer range of inductive inference that affects the testability ofthe theory.

The empirical import o f a theory now is defmed within Prologue / 27 science, by means o f a distinction between what is observable and what is not observable drawn by science itself. [81] [3] . . what counts as an observable phenomenon is a function of what the epistemic community i s ( t h a t observable is observable-to-us). [19; italics original] [4] N o t only objectivity, however, but also observability, is an i n trascientific distinction, i f the science is taken wide enough. [82] [5] For science itself delineates, at least to some extent, the ob­ servable parts o f the world it describes.

In developing his antirealist version o f the Semantic Conception, van Fraassen (1980) maintains that "philosophy o f science is not meta­ physics" (82) and that "we cannot settle the major questions o f epistemology en passant" (19). I n passing, no—but the quasi-realistic ver­ sion o f the Semantic Conception developed i n chapters 2 through 5, and elaborated and applied i n chapters 6 though 9, has taken a number of stands that have significant metaphysical and epistemological i m ­ plications.

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A century of mathematics in America. by Peter Duren


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