Approximate Truth and Descriptive Nesting
- Jeffrey Alan Barrett
- … show all 1 hide
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
There is good reason to suppose that our best physical theories, quantum mechanics and special relativity, are false if taken together and literally. If they are in fact false, then how should they count as providing knowledge of the physical world? One might imagine that, while strictly false, our best physical theories are nevertheless in some sense probably approximately true. This paper presents a notion of local probable approximate truth in terms of descriptive nesting relations between current and subsequent theories. This notion helps explain how false physical theories might nevertheless provide physical knowledge of a variety that is particularly salient to diachronic empirical inquiry.
- Albert, D. Z (2000). Special relativity as an open question. In Heinz-Peter Breuer & Francesco Petruccione (Eds.), Relativistic quantum measurement and decoherence (pp 3–13). Berlin: Springer.
- Albert, D. Z (1992). Quantum mechanics and experience. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
- Barrett, J. A. (2005). Relativistic quantum mechanics through frame-dependent constructions. Philosophy of Science, 72, 802–813. CrossRef
- Barrett, J. A. (2003). Are our best physical theories probably and/or approximately true? Philosophy of Science, 70, 1206–1218. CrossRef
- Barrett, J. A. (2000). The persistence of memory: surreal trajectories in Bohm’s theory. Philosophy of Science, 67 (4), 680–703. CrossRef
- Barrett, J. A. (1999). The quantum mechanics of minds and worlds. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Bohm, D. (1952). A suggested interpretation of the quantum theory in terms of hidden variables. I & II. Physical Review, 85(166) and 85(180).
- Cartwright, N. (1999). The dappled world: A study of the boundaries of science. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- de Santillana, G. (1955). The crime of Galileo. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
- Drake, S. (Ed.). (1957). Discoveries and opinions of Galileo. New York: Doubleday.
- Ehlers, J. (1991). The Newtonian limit of general relativity. In G. Ferrarese (Ed.), Classical mechanics and relativity: Relationship and consistency. International conference in Memory of Carlo Cattaneo, Elba 9–13 July 1989, Mongraphs and Textbooks in Physical Science. Naples: Bibliopolis.
- Ehlers, J. (1983). Relations between the Galilei-Invariant and the Lorentz-invariant theories of collisions. In D. Mayr & G. Süssman (Eds.), Space, time, and mechanics. D. Reidel.
- Frisch M. (2004). Inconsistency, asymmetry, and non-locality: A philosophical investigation of classical electrodynamics, New York: Oxford University Press.
- Ghirardi, G. C., Rimini, A., & Weber, T. (1986). Unified dynamics for microscopic and macroscopic systems. Physical Review D, 34, 470. CrossRef
- Hilpinen, R. (1976). Approximate truth and truthlikeness. In Przelecki, et al. (Eds.), Formal methods in the methodology of the empirical sciences (pp. 19–42). Dordrecht: Reidel.
- Houser, N., & Christian, K. (Eds.). (1992). The essential pierce. Bloomington; Indiana: Indiana University Press.
- Kuipers, T. (2000). From instrumentalism to constructive realism. Dordrecht: Reidel.
- Maudlin, T. (2002). Quantum non-locality and relativity: Metaphysical intimations of modern physics. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers.
- Malament, D. (2006). Classical general relativity. In J. Butterfield, & J. Earman (Eds.), Handbook of the philosophy of science. Volume 2: Philosophy of physics. Elsevier Science Publishers.
- Malament, D. (1986a). Newtonian gravity, limits, and the geometry of space. In Colodny, R. (Eds.), From Quarks to Quasars. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press.
- Malament, D. (1986b). Gravity and spatial geometry. In Marcus, R. et al. (Eds.), Logic, methodology and philosophy of science VII (proceedings of the 1983 Salzburg Congress), Elsevier Science Publishers.
- Newton, I. (1999). The principia: mathematical principles of natural philosophy, a new translation by I. Bernard Cohen and Anne Whitman. Berkeley: University of California Press.
- Niiniluoto, I (1999). Critical scientific realism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Niiniluoto, I. (1987). Truthlikeness. Dordrecht: Reidel.
- Oddie, G. (1986). Likeness to truth (Western Ontario Series in Philosophy of Science). Dordrecht: Reidel.
- Peirce, C. S. (1877). The fixation of belief. Originally published in Popular Science Monthly 12 (November 1877):1–15; In Houser & Kloesel (Eds.), 1992, pp. 109–123.
- Peirce, C. S. (1878). How to make our ideas clear. Originally published in Popular Science Monthly 12 (January 1878): 286–302; in Houser and Kloesel, (Eds.), 1992, pp. 124–141.
- Popper, K. R. (1963). Conjectures and refutations. London: Routledge.
- Putnam, H. (1979). Philosophical papers. Volume 2: Mind, language, and reality, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Sklar, L. (2003). Dappled theories in a uniform world. Philosophy of Science, 70(2), 424–441. CrossRef
- Teller, P. (2004). How we dapple the world. Philosophy of Science, 71(4), 425–447. CrossRef
- Tichý, P. (1974). On Popper’s definitions of verisimilitude. The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 25, 155–160. CrossRef
- von Neumann, J. (1955). Mathematical foundations of quantum mechanics. Princeton University Press, Princeton; translated by R. Beyer from Mathematische Grundlagen der Quantenmechanik. Berlin: Springer, 1932.
- Zwart, S. D. (2001). Refined verisimilitude. Dordrecht: Kluwer.
- Approximate Truth and Descriptive Nesting
Volume 68, Issue 2 , pp 213-224
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer Netherlands
- Additional Links
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Department of Logic and Philosophy of Science, School of Social Sciences, University of California at Irvine, Irvine, CA, 92697-4555, USA