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Schiemer, Georg and Gratzl, Norbert (2016): The Epsilon-Reconstruction of Theories and Scientific Structuralism. In: Erkenntnis, Vol. 81, No. 2: pp. 407-432 [PDF, 380kB]


Rudolf Carnap's mature work on the logical reconstruction of scientific theories consists of two components. The first is the elimination of the theoretical vocabulary of a theory in terms of its Ramsification. The second is the reintroduction of the theoretical terms through explicit definitions in a language containing an epsilon operator. This paper investigates Carnap's epsilon-reconstruction of theories in the context of pure mathematics. The main objective here is twofold: first, to specify the epsilon logic underlying his suggested definition of theoretical terms and a suitable choice semantics for it. Second, to analyze whether Carnap's approach is compatible with a structuralist conception of mathematics.

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