The present volume contains 14 contributions presented at a colloquium on "Structure and Approximation in Physical Theories" held at Osnabruck in June 1980. The articles are presented in the revised form written after the colloquium and hence also take account of the results of the discussion at the colloquium. It is a striking feature that the problem of approximation in physical theories has only recently found some attention in the philosophy of science, although the working physicist is con stantly confronted with those questions. No interesting theory of exact science exactly fits its experimental data; almost every relation between different theories is an approximate one. There fore an adequate reconstruction of physical theories must take into account and conceptualize the moment of approximation. The majority of the articles in this book is centered around this subject. There are at least two elaborate, 'structuralistic' approaches to the formalization of physical theories in which the aspect of approximation has been incorporated: the approach due to P. Suppes, J. Sneed, W. Stegmuller ("S-approach") and the approach of G. Lud wig and his co-workers ("L-approach"). The articles in this book correspondingly fall into three classes: presentation, elaboration and critique of the L-approach [Hartkamper/Schmidt, Ludwig, Neumann, Werner, Schmidt, Mayr, Kamiah, Majer, Grafe] or of the S-approach [Moulines, Balzer, Cooke], and articles referring to both approaches or concerned with related matters [Scheibe, Pfarr, Castrigiano]. Of course, this is only a rough classification and each article must be appraised in its own right.
|Edition description:||Softcover reprint of the original 1st ed. 1981|
|Product dimensions:||7.01(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.02(d)|
Table of ContentsA Short Account of the L-program.- Imprecision in Physics.- Causality in Statistical Theories as an Example for Idealization of Physical Laws.- Approximate Embeddings in Statistical Mechanics.- Stable Axioms in Physical Theories.- Approximative Reduction by Completion of Empirical Uniformities.- G. Ludwig’s Positivistic Reconstruction of Theoretical Concepts.- Abstraction, Idealization and Approximation.- Differences in Individuation and Vagueness.- A General Scheme for Intertheoretic Approximation.- Sneed’s Theory Concept and Vagueness.- Mystical Realism.- A Comparison of Two Recent Views on Theories.- What do we know from Light-Experiments about the Principle of Relativity and the Light Principle?.- Geometrical Structures and the Grinding Process for Three Plates.- Participants.