Single Idea 15529

[catalogued under 14. Science / B. Scientific Theories / 8. Ramsey Sentences]

Full Idea

A uniquely realised theory is, other things being equal, certainly more satisfactory than a multiply realised theory. We should insist on unique realisation as a standard of correctness unless it is a standard too high to be met.

Gist of Idea

It is better to have one realisation of a theory than many - but it may not always be possible


David Lewis (How to Define Theoretical Terms [1970], III)

Book Reference

Lewis,David: 'Philosophical Papers Vol.1' [OUP 1983], p.83

A Reaction

The point is that rewriting a theory as Ramsey sentences just says there is at least one realisation, and so it doesn't meet the highest standards for scientific theories. The influence of set-theoretic model theory is obvious in this approach.

Related Idea

Idea 15528 A Ramsey sentence just asserts that a theory can be realised, without saying by what [Lewis]