Using Conceptual Spaces to Model the Dynamics of Empirical Theories.

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Belief Revision meets Philosophy of Science, 2011, 21 pp. 137 - 153
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In Conceptual Spaces (Gärdenfors 2000), dimensions and their relations provide a topological representation of a concept’s constituents and their mode of combination. When concepts are modeled as n-dimensional geometrical structures, conceptual change denotes the dynamic development of these structures. Following this basic assumption, we apply conceptual spaces to the dynamics of empirical theories. We show that the terms of the structuralist view of empirical theories can be largely recovered. Based on the logically possible change operations which a concept’s dimensions can undergo (singularly or in combination), we identify four types of (increasingly radical) change to an empirical theory. The incommensurability issue as well as the importance of measurement procedures for the identification of a radical theory change are briefly discussed.
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