|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.|
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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.
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.
B. van Fraassen
The Scientific Image Oxford 1980