08 octobre 2021
14h00 - 16h00
Salle Ladrière, Collège Mercier, Place Cardinal Mercier, 14
Metaphysics of Science Seminar
1st SESSION : SCIENTIFIC FICTIONAL PROPERTIES AND THEIR EXPLANATORY POWER
Vera Matarese (University of Bern)
According to what I call the “orthodox view”, we should grant the existence of scientific properties like mass, charge, spin, because they have explanatory power. Without them, indeed, we would be unable to explain particle trajectories. In this talk, I will articulate a “fictionalist view” that regards these properties to be mere scientific fictions. Fictionalists have two options. The first is to deny, like Super-Humeans, that scientific properties have explanatory power. The second is to admit that they have explanatory power, but deny that, in virtue of this, we should grant them existence. I will take this second route. The challenge will then be to clarify how fictional properties can be explanatorily powerful without being part of our ontology.
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