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Document Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/bookPart
Title: On the Influence of Wittgenstein's Tractatus on Toulmin's Philosophy of Science
Authors: Zarębski, Tomasz
Keywords: Wittgenstein Ludwig; Toulmin Stephen
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society
Citation: In C. Kanzian, J. Mitterer, & K. Neges (eds.), Realism – Relativism – Constructivism: Contributions of the 38th International Wittgenstein Symposium (pp. 353– 355). Kirchberg am Wechsel: Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society
Abstract: The paper discusses Toulmin’s ideas in the philosophy of science – mainly as set out in The Philosophy of Science (1953) – in juxtaposition with Toulmin’s reading of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus. It claims that three themes present in the Tractatus had an influence on the core of Toulmin’s ideas about scientific explanation: first, Wittgenstein’s use of the term “Bild” – interpreted, after Hertz and Boltzmann, as “a model”, also a mathematical one; second, the active, not passive, element in our forming a model (expressed in Proposition 2.1); and, third, the account of the system of mechanics as a kind of formal net (resp. “models”) with possibly different shapes of “meshes” (the passages from 6.34 on). Thus, Toulmin’s thinking of scientific theories as based on the “modes of representation”, or “ways of representing”, corresponds well to his understanding of the concept of Bild/model in the Tractatus.
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