Authors
Jamie Shaw
University of Toronto, St. George Campus
Abstract
ABSTRACT The emerging consensus in the secondary literature on Duhem is that his notion of ‘good sense’ is a virtue of individual scientists that guides them choosie between empirically equal rival theories : 149–159; Ivanova 2010. “Pierre Duhem’s Good Sense as a Guide to Theory Choice.” Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 41 : 58–64; Fairweather 2011. “The Epistemic Value of Good Sense.” Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 43 : 139–146; Bhakthavatsalam. “Duhemian Good Sense and Agent Reliabilism.” Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 64: 22–29). In this paper, I argue that good sense is irrelevant for theory choice within Duhem’s conception of scientific methodology. Theory choice, for Duhem, is either a pseudo-problem or addressed purely by empirical and formal desiderata depending on how it is understood. I go on to provide a positive interpretation of good sense as a feature of scientific communities that undergo particular forms of education that allow scientists to abandon theory pursuit. I conclude by suggesting that this interpretation entails that virtue epistemological readings of Duhem are insufficient for understanding good sense; we must employ a social epistemological perspective.
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DOI 10.1080/02698595.2021.1888191
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The Aim and Structure of Physical Theory.Pierre Maurice Marie Duhem - 1954 - Princeton: Princeton University Press.

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