Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Theories: theories are statement systems for the explanation of observations, e.g. of behavior or physical, chemical or biological processes. When setting up theories, a subject domain, a vocabulary of the terms to be used and admissible methods of observation are defined. In addition to explanations, the goal of the theory formation is the predictability and comparability of observations. See also systems, models, experiments, observation, observation language, theoretical terms, theoretical entities, predictions, analogies, comparisons, evidence, verification, reduction, definitions, definability.

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 359
Theory/Biology/Mayr: there are phenomena for which there are simply no theories yet. For example the orientation of the carrier pigeons.
I 81
Hempel/Oppenheim: (1948) deductive nomological model (D N model).
Modification (1981, John Beatty):"Semantic conception of the theoretical structure": a...
I 81
...Definition theory is the definition of a system. Theories are neither permanent nor general in nature. They are compatible with a variety of solutions and evolutionary character.
I 84
External factors: For example, the fact that Wallace and Darwin came to practically the same results in such different ways makes it clear that external factors are irrelevant for the formation of theory.
I 93
Theory/Hypothesis/Mayr: Philosophers attach importance to this distinction.
Fact/Theory/Law/Mayr: after the discovery of Pluto, a theory became a fact. The laws of thermodynamics could also be described as facts.
For example, that birds have feathers is a fact and not a law.
I 96
Biology/Mayr: concepts play a greater role than laws here.
I 107
Theory/Mayr: often a completely new cause is postulated, although much of the old theory remains intact.
I 138
Theory: one and the same theory can be far more revolutionary in some sciences than in others. For example plate tectonics.
I 140
Changes in concepts can have a much greater impact than discoveries: Mendel's inheritance, Darwin's evolution, (This argument comes from Popper).
I 141
Paradigm (Kuhn)/Mayr: Comparison with platonic eidos: only to replace, not to delete. Variations are just coincidences.
I 146
Theory: some theories are only accepted long after they have been established. Reasons:
1. Different series of indications lead to different conclusions
2. Different ideologies:
For example, many French were easy for Lamarck...
3. At one point in time, several explanations can interpret a phenomenon equally well. Long distance orientation of birds: sun, magnetic field of the earth, sense of smell, other factors.
Sometimes there are several possible answers.
I 149
Science: most of the questions about "what " or "how" are accessible to science. Not so the question of why.
Vannevar Bush: "Science is an endless borderland".

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.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Mayr I
Ernst Mayr
This is Biology, Cambridge/MA 1997
German Edition:
Das ist Biologie Heidelberg 1998

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2020-09-28
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