Ultimately, the demise of foundationalism does not require a non-rational, sociological, analysis, but only a fallibilist stance towards the justification of scientific belief. Of course, generating and testing fundamental scientific hypotheses is rarely if ever a matter of finding curves that fit collections of data points, so nothing follows directly from this mathematical analogy for the significance of contrastive underdetermination in most scientific contexts. My new love, in the platonic sense, was Whitehead and Russell’s Principia Mathematica. Secondly, a solution to Duhem’s problem is suggested by presenting the logic of a crucial experiment, by criticizing Duhem’s thesis in terms of the logic of a crucial experiment, and by giving case studies of four historical episodes. No particular experiences are linked with any particular statements in the interior of the field, except indirectly through considerations of equilibrium affecting the field as a whole. In fact, given the fact that two or more rival theories are assigned different prior probabilities, the evidence can confirm one more than the others, or even make one highly probable.

Yet it seems that there is a genuine case of empirical equivalence of theories of quantum mechanics. Or, to change the figure, total science is like a field of force whose boundary conditions are experience. I also consider problems generated by hypotheses containing theoretical terms other than those referring to quantities. Another move, favored by Quine, is to go for pragmatism: Where do these prior probabilities come from?

Nonempirical Virtues in General Philosophy of Science.

Duhem–Quine thesis

Utility in Philosophy of Action. Although successful in the short term, there was long term degeneration of underdeterminarion major auxiliary patch to geostasis when it was recognized that its development conflicted with one of the main motivating factors for its advancement in the first place, i.

In sum, the physicist can never subject an isolated hypothesis to experimental test, but only a whole group of hypotheses; when the experiment is in disagreement with his predictions, what he learns is that at least one of the hypotheses constituting this group is unacceptable and ought to be modified; but the experiment does not designate which one should be changed.


One such reaction has been to invite more careful attention to the details of particular examples of putative underdetermination: I further argue that once the genuine reasons for its truth are understood, the limits of the thesis are apparent.

If the theory is not just a summary of the evidence, the evidence cannot determine, in the sense of proving, the theory.

Underdetermination of Scientific Theory (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

Thus, van Fraassen argues, we are here faced with empirically equivalent scientific theories: Back to Duhem Although it is also a form of underdetermination, what we described in Section 1 above as contrastive underdetermination raises fundamentally different issues from quinw holist variety considered in Section 2 Bonk is a book-length treatment of many of these issues.

This is an interpretation of Quine’s Nonuniqueness thesis: In the end, this kind of selective inductive underdetermination undermines itself: Bayesian Reasoning, Misc in Philosophy of Probability. Finally, I outline an evolutionary criticism of inductive Bayesian approaches based on my assumption of doxastic involuntarism. This is not an unsolvable problem. This practice is typically justified by appeal to methodological arguments that purport to demonstrate that active-controlled trials ACTs are methodologically flawed.

duhem quine thesis underdetermination

Duhemian challenges and problems of underdetermination are often raised to argue that fNI is of little, if any, epistemic value for psychology.

In this paper, I take a Popper, however, confined his attention to empirical science as traditionally conceived. Confirmation, Misc in General Philosophy of Science. I contend that there is a central thesis, which I have dubbed the “Duhem-Popper-Quine thesis,” that is common to the work of these three authors but that in each author’s work it is reflected differently.

duhem quine thesis underdetermination

Stanford concedes that present theories are not transiently underdetermined by the theoretical alternatives we have actually developed and considered to date: Another move, favored by Quine, is to go for pragmatism: This paper examines the standard Bayesian solution to the Quine—Duhem problem, the problem of distributing blame between a theory and its auxiliary hypotheses in the aftermath of a failed prediction.

Light may be a swarm of projectiles, or it may be a vibratory motion whose waves are propagated in a medium; is it forbidden to be anything else at all?


duhem quine thesis underdetermination

What is the epistemic problem it is supposed to create? By and large, we think is a useful reply to our original critique of his article on the Quine—Duhem problem.


To put the point another way, if we believe a given tbesis theory when one of the empirical equivalents we could generate from it by the local algorithmic strategy is correct instead, most of what we originally believed will nonetheless turn out to be straightforwardly true.

Theresulting reorientation of economic methodologyrestores the capacity of economics to learnfrom experience and reinstates the imperativeof developing alternatives to orthodoxtheorizing in economics.

But contrastive underdetermination Section 3 below involves the quite different possibility that for quiine body of evidence confirming a theory, there might well be other theories that are also well confirmed by that very same body of evidence.

I show how the ES notions of severe tests and error probabilities can be applied in epistemological analyses of fMRI. If attempted refutations are the sole test for theories, two incompatible theories that are not refuted by the thesls are equally well tested by it.

I also claim that Allais had an intuition of how to combine testability and normativity, unlike most later experimenters, and that it would have been more fruitful to work from his intuition than to make underdetetmination experiments of the naively empirical style that flourished after him.

Quine thesis is generally presented as the radical underdetermi? The existence of the farm problem tends to refute an implication of general equilibrium GE theory — that resources flow undedetermination equate returns between sectors of the economy. I show that key philosophical texts from the principals involved are overlooked and argue that these neglected texts tell against the causal explanations offered by the Strong Programme. Section III raises the issue of realism.