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Using conceptual spaces to exhibit conceptual continuity through scientific theory change

Masterton, George LU ; Zenker, Frank LU and Gärdenfors, Peter LU (2017) In European Journal for Philosophy of Science 7(1). p.127-150
Abstract
There is a great deal of justified concern about continuity through scientific theory change. Our thesis is that, particularly in physics, such continuity can be appropriately captured at the level of conceptual frameworks (the level above the theories themselves) using conceptual space models. Indeed, we contend that the conceptual spaces of three of our most important physical theories---Classical Mechanics (CM), Special Relativity Theory (SRT), and Quantum Mechanics (QM)---have already been so modelled as phase-spaces. Working with their phase-space formulations, one can trace the conceptual changes and continuities in transitioning from CM to QM, and from CM to SRT. By offering a revised severity-ordering of changes that conceptual... (More)
There is a great deal of justified concern about continuity through scientific theory change. Our thesis is that, particularly in physics, such continuity can be appropriately captured at the level of conceptual frameworks (the level above the theories themselves) using conceptual space models. Indeed, we contend that the conceptual spaces of three of our most important physical theories---Classical Mechanics (CM), Special Relativity Theory (SRT), and Quantum Mechanics (QM)---have already been so modelled as phase-spaces. Working with their phase-space formulations, one can trace the conceptual changes and continuities in transitioning from CM to QM, and from CM to SRT. By offering a revised severity-ordering of changes that conceptual frameworks can undergo, we provide reasons to doubt the commonly held view that CM is conceptually closer to SRT than QM. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
European Journal for Philosophy of Science
volume
7
issue
1
pages
24 pages
publisher
Springer Netherlands
external identifiers
  • scopus:85010023429
ISSN
1879-4920
DOI
10.1007/s13194-016-0149-x
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
49592d8a-93cb-4487-86c4-dd0f5b9dc91b
date added to LUP
2016-10-02 12:02:50
date last changed
2017-05-24 14:12:09
@article{49592d8a-93cb-4487-86c4-dd0f5b9dc91b,
  abstract     = {There is a great deal of justified concern about continuity through scientific theory change. Our thesis is that, particularly in physics, such continuity can be appropriately captured at the level of conceptual frameworks (the level above the theories themselves) using conceptual space models. Indeed, we contend that the conceptual spaces of three of our most important physical theories---Classical Mechanics (CM), Special Relativity Theory (SRT), and Quantum Mechanics (QM)---have already been so modelled as phase-spaces. Working with their phase-space formulations, one can trace the conceptual changes and continuities in transitioning from CM to QM, and from CM to SRT. By offering a revised severity-ordering of changes that conceptual frameworks can undergo, we provide reasons to doubt the commonly held view that CM is conceptually closer to SRT than QM.},
  author       = {Masterton, George and Zenker, Frank and Gärdenfors, Peter},
  issn         = {1879-4920},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {127--150},
  publisher    = {Springer Netherlands},
  series       = {European Journal for Philosophy of Science},
  title        = {Using conceptual spaces to exhibit conceptual continuity through scientific theory change},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13194-016-0149-x},
  volume       = {7},
  year         = {2017},
}