Scientific Models and Metalinguistic Negotiation



Published 25-09-2019
Mirco Sambrotta


The aim of this paper is to explore the possibility that, at least, some metaphysical debates are 'metalinguistic negotiations' (to employ a recent term coined by David Plunkett and Timothy Sundell). I will take the dispute between the dominant approaches of realism and the anti-realism ones (especially Fictionalism) about the ontological status of scientific models as a case-study. I will argue that such a debate may be better understood as a disagreement, at bottom normatively, motivated, insofar as a normative and non-factual question may be involved in it: how the relevant piece of language ought to be used. Even though I will generally assess the prospects for a broadly deflationist approach, I shall outline a sense in which the dispute can be recast as 'minimally substantive'. 

How to Cite

Sambrotta, M. (2019). Scientific Models and Metalinguistic Negotiation. THEORIA, 34(2), 277–295.
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scientific models, metalinguistic negotiation, conceptual ethics, ontological debates