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. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science, 34(2), 277–295.
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scientific models, metalinguistic negotiation, conceptual ethics, ontological debates