Theoretical Terms without Analytic Truths

Philosophical Studies 160, 167–190, 2012.

Abstract: When new theoretical terms are introduced into scientific discourse, prevailing accounts imply, analytic or semantic truths come along with them, by way of either definitions or reference-fixing descriptions. But there appear to be few or no analytic truths in scientific theory, which suggests that the prevailing accounts are mistaken. This paper looks to research on the psychology of natural kind concepts to suggest a new account of the introduction of theoretical terms that avoids both definition and reference-fixing description. At the core of the account is a novel psychological process that I call introjection.

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