Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

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Expansion, philosophy: when expanding theories it comes to the question whether a consistent theory remains consistent when it is expanded. Maximum consistent theories are not expandable. See also axioms, maximum consistent, theories, consistency, maximum.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Item Summary Meta data
I 50
Expansion/Theory/Fraassen: seductive: that theories have hidden strenghts by allowing expansions to new phenomena - problem: then there can never be two empirically equivalent theories because they could be distinguished by possible expansions.
I 51
Expansion/Theory/Fraassen: e.g. suppose experiments would have shown (counterfactually) that also the center of the gravitation system for electromagnetic waves should have been at rest - then the mechanics would have been successfully extended to electromagnetism.
Problem: "victorious expansions", can be distinguished between empirically equivalent theories, because they always have the same resources to construct models for phenomena - i.e. when a theory gains a victory, then also all the theories which are empirically equivalent to it gain a victory - better: expansions through phenomena that do not fit into a theory - these cause a weakening.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.

Fr I
B. van Fraassen
The Scientific Image Oxford 1980

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2018-05-26