•  250
    Re-enchanting Realism in Debate with Kyle Stanford
    Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 44 (1): 201-224. 2013.
    In this article, against the background of a notion of ‘assembled’ truth, the evolutionary progressiveness of a theory is suggested as novel and promising explanation for the success of science. A new version of realism in science, referred to as ‘naturalised realism’ is outlined. Naturalised realism is ‘fallibilist’ in the unique sense that it captures and mimics the self-corrective core of scientific knowledge and its progress. It is argued that naturalised realism disarms Kyle Stanford’s anti…Read more
  •  193
    Reduction revisited
    South African Journal of Philosophy 25 (2): 102-112. 2006.
    This is a first tentative examination of the possibility of reinstating reduction as a valid candidate for presenting relations between mental and physical properties. Classical Nagelian reduction is undoubtedly contaminated in many ways, but here I investigate the possibility of adapting to problems concerning mental properties an alternative definition for theory reduction in philosophy of science. The definition I offer is formulated with the aid of non-monotonic logic, which I suspect might …Read more
  •  172
    Semantic approaches in the philosophy of science
    South African Journal of Philosophy 18 (2): 100-148. 1999.
    In this article I give an overview of some recent work in philosophy of science dedicated to analysing the scientific process in terms of (conceptual) mathematical models of theories and the various semantic relations between such models, scientific theories, and aspects of reality. In current philosophy of science, the most interesting questions centre around the ways in which writers distinguish between theories and the mathematical structures that interpret them and in which they are true, i.…Read more
  •  141
    Overdetermination of theories by empirical models: A realist interpretation of empirical choices
    Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities 84 (1): 409-436. 2005.
    A model-theoretic realist account of science places linguistic systems and their corresponding non-linguistic structures at different stages or different levels of abstraction of the scientific process. Apart from the obvious problem of underdetermination of theories by data, philosophers of science are also faced with the inverse (and very real) problem of overdetermination of theories by their empirical models, which is what this article will focus on. I acknowledge the contingency of the fact…Read more
  •  140
    Repositioning Realism
    Philosophia Scientae 19 85-98. 2015.
    Naturalised realism’ is presented as a version of realism which is more compatible with the history of science than convergent or explanationist forms of realism. The account is unpacked according to four theses: 1) Whether realism is warranted with regards to a particular theory depends on the kind and quality of evidence available for that theory; 2) Reference is about causal interaction with the world; 3) Most of science happens somewhere in between instrumentalism and scientific realism on a…Read more
  •  132
    Philosophy of Science: Interfaces between Logic and Knowledge Representation
    South African Journal of Philosophy 25 (4): 275-289. 2006.
    In this inaugural lecture I offer, against the background of a discussion of knowledge representation and its tools, an overview of my research in the philosophy of science. I defend a relational model-theoretic realism as being the appropriate meta-stance most congruent with the model-theoretic view of science as a form of human engagement with the world. Making use of logics with preferential semantics within a model-theoretic paradigm, I give an account of science as process and product. I de…Read more
  •  130
    On truth and reference in postmodern science
    South African Journal of Philosophy 22 (3): 220-235. 2003.
    If the defenders of typical postmodern accounts of science (and their less extreme social-constructivist partners) are at one end of the scale in current philosophy of science, who shall we place at the other end? Old-style metaphysical realists? Neo-neo-positivists? ... Are the choices concerning realist issues as simple as being centered around either, on the one hand, whether it is the way reality is “constructed” in accordance with some contingent language game that determines scientific “tr…Read more
  •  126
    Interactive Realism
    South African Journal of Philosophy 30 (1): 41-52. 2011.
    I investigate a new understanding of realism in science, referred to as ‘interactive realism’, and I suggest the ‘evolutionary progressiveness’ of a theory as novel criterion for this kind of realism. My basic claim is that we cannot be realists about anything except the progress affected by myriad science-reality interactions that are constantly moving on a continuum of increased ‘fitness’ determined according to empirical constraints. Moreover to reflect this movement accurately, there is a co…Read more
  •  117
    A non-classical logical foundation for naturalised realism
    with Giovanni Casini and Thomas Meyer
    In P. & M. Danćak Arazim (ed.), Logica Yearbook 2014, College Publications. pp. 249-266. 2015.
    In this paper, by suggesting a formal representation of science based on recent advances in logic-based Artificial Intelligence (AI), we show how three serious concerns around the realisation of traditional scientific realism (the theory/observation distinction, over-determination of theories by data, and theory revision) can be overcome such that traditional realism is given a new guise as ‘naturalised’. We contend that such issues can be dealt with (in the context of scientific realism) by dev…Read more
  •  107
    Reviewing Reduction in a Preferential Model‐Theoretic Context
    with Johannes Heidema
    International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 19 (2). 2005.
    In this article, we redefine classical notions of theory reduction in such a way that model-theoretic preferential semantics becomes part of a realist depiction of this aspect of science. We offer a model-theoretic reconstruction of science in which theory succession or reduction is often better - or at a finer level of analysis - interpreted as the result of model succession or reduction. This analysis leads to 'defeasible reduction', defined as follows: The conjunction of the assumptions of a …Read more
  •  103
    Reality in science
    South African Journal of Philosophy 18 (2): 149-191. 1999.
    One way in which to address the intriguing relations between science and reality is to work via the models (mathematical structures) of formal scientific theories which are interpretations under which these theories turn out to be true. The so-called 'statement approach' to scientific theories -- characteristic for instance of Nagel, Carnap, and Hempel --depicts theories in terms of 'symbolic languages' and some set of 'correspondence rules' or 'definition principles'. The defenders of the oppos…Read more
  •  49
    A Model-Theoretic Interpretation of Science
    South African Journal of Philosophy 16 (1): 31-36. 1997.
    I am arguing that it is only by concentrating on the role of models in theory construction, interpretation and change, that one can study the progress of science sensibly. I define the level at which these models operate as a level above the purely empirical (consisting of various systems in reality) but also indeed below that of the fundamental formal theories (expressed linguistically). The essentially multi-interpretability of the theory at the general, abstract linguistic level, implies that…Read more
  •  32
    A review of the book "Interpretation. Ways of thinking about the sciences and the arts" by Peter Machamer, Gereon Wolters (eds.). Published in the Pittsburgh-Konstanz series in the philosophy and history of science. Pittsburgh, PA: Pittsburgh University Press, 2010, 266pp, $80.00 HB
  •  10
    A Model-Theoretic Realist Interpretation of Science
    Dissertation, University of South Africa (South Africa). 1999.
    My model-theoretic realist account of science places linguistic systems and the corresponding non-linguistic structures at different stages of the scientific process. It is shown that science and its progress cannot be analysed in terms of only one of these strata. Philosophy of science literature offers mainly two approaches; to the structure of scientific knowledge analysed in terms of theories and their models, the "statement" and the "non-statement" approaches. In opposition to the statement…Read more
  •  10
    A Model-Theoretic Realist Interpretation of Science
    Kluwer Academic Publishers. 2002.
    In this book Emma Ruttkamp demonstrates the power of the full-blown employment of the model-theoretic paradigm in the philosophy of science. Within this paradigm she gives an account of sciences as process and product. She expounds the "received statement" and the "non-statement" views of science, and shows how the model-theoretic approach resolves the spurious tension between these views. In this endeavour she also engages the views of a number of contemporary philosophers of science with affin…Read more
  •  6
    Editorial Preface
    South African Journal of Philosophy 30 (1): 41-52. 2011.