Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Theories: theories are statement systems for the explanation of observations, e.g. of behavior or physical, chemical or biological processes. When setting up theories, a subject domain, a vocabulary of the terms to be used and admissible methods of observation are defined. In addition to explanations, the goal of the theory formation is the predictability and comparability of observations. See also systems, models, experiments, observation, observation language, theoretical terms, theoretical entities, predictions, analogies, comparisons, evidence, verification, reduction, definitions, definability.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Paul Feyerabend on Theories - Dictionary of Arguments

I 35
Theory/Feyerabend: there is no one single interesting theory that corresponds with all known facts in its field.
I 39
Theory/Feyerabend: any theory that contradicts another outside of the observations is supported by exactly the same observations and therefore also acceptable.
I 84
Theory/Hume/Feyerabend: theories cannot be derived from facts. If we are to demand that only theories be admitted that follow from the facts, no theory remains at all.
I 86
Theory/Feyerabend: a theory may not be incompatible with the data, because it is not correct, but because the data are contaminated! They could contain, and analyzed, perceptions, which correspond only partially to external processes, or be clad in old conceptions, or judged by backward auxiliary sciences.
I 87
Theory/Observation Language/Feyerabend: even the most thorough examination of an observation sentence does not disturb the concepts by which it is expressed or the structure of the perception image. How can we examine something that is constantly used and presupposed in every statement?
I 121
Lakatos: pro ad-hoc theories.
Theory/Popper: new theories have - and this must be so - excess content, which - and this should not be so - is gradually infected by ad-hoc adjustments.
Theory/Lakatos: new theories are - necessarily - ad-hoc. Excess content is created bit by bit by gradually extending the theories to new facts and areas.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Feyerabend I
Paul Feyerabend
Against Method. Outline of an Anarchistic Theory of Knowledge, London/New York 1971
German Edition:
Wider den Methodenzwang Frankfurt 1997

Feyerabend II
P. Feyerabend
Science in a Free Society, London/New York 1982
German Edition:
Erkenntnis für freie Menschen Frankfurt 1979

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2021-12-09
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