Theoretical Terms in Science

[Revised entry by Holger Andreas on July 20, 2017. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] A simple explanation of theoreticity says that a term is theoretical if and only if it refers to
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[Revised entry by Holger Andreas on July 20, 2017. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] A simple explanation of theoreticity says that a term is theoretical if and only if it refers to nonobservational entities. Paradigmatic examples of such entities are electrons, neutrinos, gravitational forces, genes etc. There is yet another explanation of theoreticity: a theoretical term is one whose meaning becomes determined through the axioms of a scientific theory. The meaning of the term 'force', for example, is seen to be determined by Newton's laws of motion and further laws about special forces,...

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News source: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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