2016 – “Meta-Theoretical Contributions to the Constitution of a Model-Based Didactics of Science”

  • “Meta-Theoretical Contributions to the Constitution of a Model-Based Didactics of Science” (escrito con Yefrin Ariza y Agustín Adúriz-Bravo), Science & Education (2016). DOI: 10.1007/s11191-016-9845-3. ISSN: 0926-7220 (Print), 1573-1901 (Online).

Abstract

There is nowadays consensus in the community of didactics of science (i.e. science education understood as an academic discipline) regarding the need to include the philosophy of science in didactical research, science teacher education, curriculum design, and the practice of science education in all educational levels. Some authors have identified an ever-increasing use of the concept of ‘theoretical model’, stemming from the so-called semantic view of scientific theories. However, it can be recognised that, in didactics of science, there are over-simplified transpositions of the idea of model (and of other metatheoretical ideas). In this sense, contemporary philosophy of science is often blurred or distorted in the science education literature. In this paper, we address the discussion around some meta-theoretical concepts that are introduced into didactics of science due to their perceived educational value. We argue for the existence of a ‘semantic family’, and we characterise four different versions of semantic views existing within the family. In particular, we seek to contribute to establishing a model-based didactics of science mainly supported in this semantic family.

Keywords

Didactics of Science; Theoretical Model; Contemporary Philosophy of Science; Semantic View

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2013 – The Semantic Conception and the Structuralist View of Theories: A Critique of Suppe’s Criticisms

  • “The Semantic Conception and the Structuralist View of Theories: A Critique of Suppe’s Criticisms”, Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 44 (2013): 600-607.DOI: 10.1016/j.shpsa.2013.09.001. ISSN: 0039-3681.

Abstract

Different conceptions of scientific theories, such as the state spaces approach of Bas van Fraassen, the phase spaces approach of Frederick Suppe, the set-theoretical approach of Patrick Suppes, and the structuralist view of Joseph Sneed et al. are usually put together into one big family. In addition, the definite article is normally used, and thus we speak of the semantic conception (view or approach) of theories and of its different approaches (variants or versions). However, in The Semantic Conception of Theories and Scientific Realism (Urban and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1989), starting from certain remarks already made in “Theory Structure” (in P. Asquith and H. Kyburg (Eds.), Current Research in Philosophy of Science, East Lansing: Philosophy of Science Association, 1979, pp. 317–338), Frederick Suppe excludes the structuralist view as well as other “European” versions from the semantic conception of theories. In this paper I will critically examine the reasons put forward by Suppe for this decision and, later, I will provide a general characterization of the semantic family and of the structuralist view of theories in such a way as to justify the inclusion of the structuralist view (as well as other “European” versions) as a member of this family.

Keywords

Semantic conception of theories; Structuralist view of theories; Semantic family; Frederick Suppe; Joseph D. Sneed; Thomas S. Kuhn

Acceder a “The Semantic Conception and the Structuralist View of Theories: A Critique of Suppe’s Criticisms”.

2003 – ¿Debe ser excluida la concepción estructuralista de las teorías de la familia semanticista?: Una crítica a la posición de Frederick Suppe

  • “¿Debe ser excluida la concepción estructuralista de las teorías de la familia semanticista?: Una crítica a la posición de Frederick Suppe”, Epistemología e Historia de la Ciencia, vol. 9, nº 9 (2003): 282-290.

Por lo general, distintas concepciones sobre las teorías científicas, tales como las de los espacios de estado de Bas van Fraassen y Frederick Suppe, la conjuntista de Patrick Suppes y la estructuralista de Joseph Sneed et al., se suele reunir dentro de una misma familia, denominada “semanticista”. Muchas veces, inclusive, se utiliza el artículo definido y se habla de la concepción semántica de las teorías y de sus diferentes enfoques. Sin embargo, en Suppe (1989) se propone excluir la concepción estructuralista (y otros enfoques europeos) de la concepción semántica. En este trabajo, presentaré primero las razones argüidas por Suppe para tal decisión respecto de la concepción estructuralista de las teorías. A continuación, examinaré críticamente dichas razones. Por último, haré una caracterización general de la familia semanticista (o concepción semántica) que justificará la inclusión del estructuralismo metateórico (así como a otros enfoques) dentro de ella.

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