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The Completeness of Scientific Theories : On the Derivation of Empirical Indicators within a Theoretical Framework: The Case of Physical Geometry - Martin Carrier

The Completeness of Scientific Theories

On the Derivation of Empirical Indicators within a Theoretical Framework: The Case of Physical Geometry

Hardcover Published: 30th November 1993
ISBN: 9780792324751
Number Of Pages: 278

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The Completeness of Scientific Theories deals with the role of theories in measurement. Theories are employed in measurements in order to account for the operation of the instruments and to correct the raw data obtained. These observation theories thus guarantee the reliability of measurement procedures. In special cases a theory can be used as its own observation theory. In such cases it is possible, relying on the theory itself, to analyze the measuring procedures associated with theoretical states specified within its framework. This feature is called completeness. The book addresses the assets and liabilities of theories exhibiting this feature.
Chief among the prima-facie liabilities is a testability problem. If a theory that is supposed to explain certain measurement results at the same time provides the theoretical means necessary for obtaining these results, the threat of circularity arises. Closer investigation reveals that various circularity problems do indeed emerge in complete theories, but that these problems can generally be solved. Some methods for testing and confirming theories are developed and discussed.
The particulars of complete theories are addressed using a variety of theories from the physical sciences and psychology as examples. The example developed in greatest detail is general relativity theory, which exhibits an outstanding degree of completeness. In this context a new approach to the issue of the conventionality of physical geometry is pursued.
The book contains the first systematic analysis of completeness; it thus opens up new paths of research.
For philosophers of science working on problems of confirmation, theory-ladenness of evidence, empirical testability, and space--time philosophy (or students in these areas).

Introduction
The Theory-Ladenness of Observation and Measurementp. 1
The Verificationist Theory of Meaning and the Double-Language Modelp. 1
Three Types of Theory-Ladennessp. 5
Measuremental Theory-Ladenness: Some Details and Applicationsp. 10
The Completeness of Theoriesp. 20
Einstein-Feigl Completeness Introducedp. 20
Sneed's "Problem of Theoretical Terms" and the Testability of Strongly Complete Hypothesesp. 29
Reciprocal Dependence of Quantities: Reichenbach Loops and Non-Instantiative Testingp. 39
The Bootstrap Model of Testing Hypotheses: A Comeback for Overall Instantiation?p. 52
Corrective Reichenbach Loops: The Nature of Self-Referential Distortionsp. 70
Completeness in Natural Science and Psychologyp. 84
Electrodynamics, or: How to Keep Track of an Electron's Motion Completelyp. 85
Can Quantum-Mechanical Description of Physical Reality Be Considered Complete?p. 89
Psychological Test Theory: The Complete Guide to Your Neighbor's Psyche?p. 98
On Freud's Couch: Plunging Completely into the Unconsciousp. 103
Reichenbach Loops in Operation: The Conventionality of Physical Geometryp. 116
Preliminary: Non-Euclidean Geometryp. 117
The Early Conventionality Argument: Helmholtz, Poincare, Carnapp. 121
Fundamentals of General Relativity Theoryp. 128
Reichenbach's Conventionality Argument and its Impact on the Completeness of Physical Geometryp. 142
The Completeness of Special Relativity regarding Distant Simultaneityp. 158
The Completeness of General Relativity Theoryp. 178
Measurements Based on Particle Paths and Light Rays, or: The Art of Minimizing Laboratory Expensesp. 178
Coping with Differential Distortions, or: The Art of Entering the State of Blissful Ignorancep. 191
Completing Physical Geometry, or: The Art of Entering the State of Splendid Isolationp. 203
How Completeness is Possible, or: The Art of Implementing a Tough Conceptual Austerity Programp. 212
The Conventionality of Physical Geometry: A Reconsiderationp. 230
Poincare Set Straight: High-Profile Conventionalismp. 231
Newton Rolled Up and Einstein Stretched Out: Geometries at a Discountp. 242
Notesp. 254
Bibliographyp. 264
Index of Namesp. 272
Index of Subjectsp. 275
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780792324751
ISBN-10: 0792324757
Series: WESTERN ONTARIO SERIES IN PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 278
Published: 30th November 1993
Publisher: Springer
Country of Publication: NL
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.88  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.61