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The semantic view of theories is a position in the philosophy of science that holds that a scientific theory can be identified with a collection of models. The semantic view of theories was originally proposed by Patrick Suppes in “A Comparison of the Meaning and Uses of Models in Mathematics and the Empirical Sciences”[1] as a reaction against the received view of theories popular among the logical positivists. Many varieties of the semantic view propose identifying theories with a class of set-theoretic models in the Tarskian sense, [2] while others specify models in the mathematical language stipulated by the field of which the theory is a member[3]

See alsoEdit


  1. Suppes, P. (1960), “A Comparison of the Meaning and Uses of Models in Mathematics and the Empirical Sciences,” Synthese 12: 287-301.
  2. Suppes, P. (1960) and da Costa, Newton C. A., and Steven French (1990), “The Model-Theoretic Approach in the Philosophy of Science”, Philosophy of Science 57: 248–265.
  3. van Fraassen, Bas C. (1980), The Scientific Image. Oxford: Clarendon. and Suppe, Frederick (1989), The Semantic Conception of Theories and Scientific Realism. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.

External linksEdit

  • The Semantic View of Theories: Models and Misconceptions [1]
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