CEFISES Seminar: Markus Schrenk, “The Problematic Properties of Better Best Systems”
May 3@14:00-16:00 CEST
Speaker: Markus Schrenk (Düsseldorf University)
Title: “The Problematic Properties of Better Best Systems”
Many advocates of the Better Best System Account (BBSA) and variations thereof suggest that Lewis-style best system competitions can successfully be executed for any arbitrary but fixed set of predicates/properties. This affords the possibility to launch system analyses separately for each of the special sciences. However, unnoticed challenges arise: What are the boundaries between the different sets of properties that demarcate the sciences (if there are any)? Also, the BBSA is in danger of depicting the whole of sciences as a patchwork of unrelated, maybe even contradictory systems. Is there a unity or a hierarchy to be found after all? The latter issues concern the interrelations across separate best systems and their properties. Relating to scientific progress, there are internal issues as well: as a science develops it hosts different sets of properties. System analyses for different property sets, however, might well be incommensurable. How can the BBSA account for this? This paper aims to offer tentative solutions to these challenges but it remains critical.