Results for 'underdetermination'

977 found
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  1. Metaphysical Underdetermination: Why Worry?Steven French - 2011 - Synthese 180 (2):205 - 221.
    Various forms of underdetermination that might threaten the realist stance are examined. That which holds between different 'formulations' of a theory (such as the Hamiltonian and Lagrangian formulations of classical mechanics) is considered in some detail, as is the 'metaphysical' underdetermination invoked to support 'ontic structural realism'. The problematic roles of heuristic fruitfulness and surplus structure in attempts to break these forms of underdetermination are discussed and an approach emphasizing the relevant structural commonalities is defended.
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  2. Realism, Underdetermination and String Theory Dualities.Keizo Matsubara - 2013 - Synthese 190 (3):471-489.
    String theory promises to be able to provide us with a working theory of quantum gravity and a unified description of all fundamental forces. In string theory there are so called ‘dualities’; i.e. different theoretical formulations that are physically equivalent. In this article these dualities are investigated from a philosophical point of view. Semantic and epistemic questions relating to the problem of underdetermination of theories by data and the debate on realism concerning scientific theories are discussed. Depending on ones (...)
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  3. Underdetermination in Science: What It Is and Why We Should Care.Margaret Greta Turnbull - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (2):e12475.
    The underdetermination of scientific theory choice by evidence is a familiar but multifaceted concept in the philosophy of science. I answer two pressing questions about underdetermination: “What is underdetermination?” and “Why should we care about underdetermination?” To answer the first question, I provide a general definition of underdetermination, identify four forms of underdetermination, and discuss major criticisms of each form. To answer the second question, I then survey two common uses of underdetermination in (...)
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  4. Underdetermination and Theory Succession From the Perspective of String Theory.Richard Dawid - 2006 - Philosophy of Science 73 (3):298-322.
    This article investigates the implications of string theory for the conception of scientific theory confirmation. The classical understanding of theory confirmation is based on the assumption that scientific theory building is underdetermined by the available empirical data. Several arguments are presented, which suggest a devaluation of this ‘principle of scientific underdetermination’ in the context of string theory. An altered conception of scientific progress emerges that is not based on the notion of theory succession.
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  5. Underdetermination, Realism and Empirical Equivalence.John Worrall - 2011 - Synthese 180 (2):157 - 172.
    Are theories ‘underdetermined by the evidence’ in any way that should worry the scientific realist? I argue that no convincing reason has been given for thinking so. A crucial distinction is drawn between data equivalence and empirical equivalence. Duhem showed that it is always possible to produce a data equivalent rival to any accepted scientific theory. But there is no reason to regard such a rival as equally well empirically supported and hence no threat to realism. Two theories are empirically (...)
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  6. Feminism, Underdetermination, and Values in Science.Kristen Intemann - 2005 - Philosophy of Science 72 (5):1001-1012.
    Several feminist philosophers of science have tried to open up the possibility that feminist ethical or political commitments could play a positive role in good science by appealing to the Duhem-Quine thesis and underdetermination of theories by observation. I examine several different interpretations of the claim that feminist values could play a legitimate role in theory justification and show that none of them follow from a logical gap between theory and observation. Finally, I sketch an alternative approach for defending (...)
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  7. Permissivism, Underdetermination, and Evidence.Elizabeth Jackson & Margaret Greta Turnbull - forthcoming - In Clayton Littlejohn & Maria Lasonen-Aarnio (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Evidence. New York: Routledge. pp. 1-13.
    Permissivism is the thesis that, for some body of evidence and a proposition p, there is more than one rational doxastic attitude any agent with that evidence can take toward p. Proponents of uniqueness deny permissivism, maintaining that every body of evidence always determines a single rational doxastic attitude. In this paper, we explore the debate between permissivism and uniqueness about evidence, outlining some of the major arguments on each side. We then consider how permissivism can be understood as an (...)
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  8. Underdetermination as an Epistemological Test Tube: Expounding Hidden Values of the Scientific Community.Martin Carrier - 2011 - Synthese 180 (2):189 - 204.
    Duhem—Quine underdetermination plays a constructive role in epistemology by pinpointing the impact of non-empirical virtues or cognitive values on theory choice. Underdetermination thus contributes to illuminating the nature of scientific rationality. Scientists prefer and accept one account among empirical equivalent alternatives. The non-empirical virtues operating in science are laid open in such theory choice decisions. The latter act as an epistemological test tube in making explicit commitments to how scientific knowledge should be like.
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  9. Underdetermination, Methodological Practices, and Realism.Dana Tulodziecki - 2013 - Synthese 190 (17):3731-3750.
    In this paper, I argue (i) that there are certain methodological practices that are epistemically significant, and (ii) that we can test for the success of these practices empirically by examining case-studies in the history of science. Analysing a particular episode from the history of medicine, I explain how this can help us resolve specific cases of underdetermination. I conclude that, while the anti-realist is (more or less legitimately) able to construct underdetermination scenarios on a case-by-case basis, he (...)
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  10. Realism, Underdetermination, and a Causal Theory of Evidence.Richard Boyd - 1973 - Noûs 7 (1):1-12.
  11. Undercutting Underdetermination‐Based Scepticism.Natalie Alana Ashton - 2015 - Theoria 81 (4):333-354.
    According to Duncan Pritchard, there are two kinds of radical sceptical problem; the closure-based problem, and the underdetermination-based problem. He argues that distinguishing these two problems leads to a set of desiderata for an anti-sceptical response, and that the way to meet all of these desiderata is by supplementing a form of Wittgensteinian contextualism with disjunctivist views about factivity. I agree that an adequate response should meet most of the initial desiderata Pritchard puts forward, and that some version of (...)
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  12.  95
    Theoreticity, Underdetermination, and the Disregard for Bizarre Scientific Hypotheses.André Kukla - 2001 - Philosophy of Science 68 (1):21-35.
    The problem of scientific disregard is the problem of accounting for why some putative theories that appear to be well-supported by empirical evidence nevertheless play no role in the scientific enterprise. Laudan and Leplin suggest (and Hoefer and Rosenberg concur) that at least some of these putative theories fail to be genuine theoretical rivals because they lack some non-empirical property of theoreticity. This solution also supports their repudiation of the thesis of underdetermination. I argue that the attempt to provide (...)
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  13. Demystifying Underdetermination.Larry Laudan - 1990 - In C. Wade Savage (ed.), Scientific Theories. University of Minnesota Press. pp. 267-97.
  14. Overdetermination Underdetermined.Sara Bernstein - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (1):17-40.
    Widespread causal overdetermination is often levied as an objection to nonreductive theories of minds and objects. In response, nonreductive metaphysicians have argued that the type of overdetermination generated by their theories is different from the sorts of coincidental cases involving multiple rock-throwers, and thus not problematic. This paper pushes back. I argue that attention to differences between types of overdetermination discharges very few explanatory burdens, and that overdetermination is a bigger problem for the nonreductive metaphysician than previously thought.
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  15.  94
    Local Underdetermination in Historical Science.Derek Turner - 2005 - Philosophy of Science 72 (1):209-230.
    David Lewis defends the thesis of the asymmetry of overdetermination: later affairs are seldom overdetermined by earlier affairs, but earlier affairs are usually overdetermined by later affairs. Recently, Carol Cleland has argued that since the distinctive methodologies of historical science and experimental science exploit different aspects of this asymmetry, the methodology of historical science is just as good, epistemically speaking, as that of experimental science. This paper shows, first, that Cleland's epistemological conclusion does not follow from the thesis of the (...)
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  16.  42
    Underdetermination and Decomposition in Kepler's Astronomia Nova.Teru Miyake - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 50:20-27.
    This paper examines the underdetermination between the Ptolemaic, Copernican, and the Tychonic theories of planetary motions and its attempted resolution by Kepler. I argue that past philosophical analyses of the problem of the planetary motions have not adequately grasped a method through which the underdetermination might have been resolved. This method involves a procedure of what I characterize as decomposition and identification. I show that this procedure is used by Kepler in the first half of the Astronomia Nova, (...)
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  17. Values in Science Beyond Underdetermination and Inductive Risk.Matthew J. Brown - 2013 - Philosophy of Science 80 (5):829-839.
    Proponents of the value ladenness of science rely primarily on arguments from underdetermination or inductive risk, which share the premise that we should only consider values where the evidence runs out or leaves uncertainty; they adopt a criterion of lexical priority of evidence over values. The motivation behind lexical priority is to avoid reaching conclusions on the basis of wishful thinking rather than good evidence. This is a real concern, however, that giving lexical priority to evidential considerations over values (...)
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  18. Permanent Underdetermination From Approximate Empirical Equivalence in Field Theory: Massless and Massive Scalar Gravity, Neutrino, Electromagnetic, Yang–Mills and Gravitational Theories.J. Brian Pitts - 2010 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (2):259-299.
    Classical and quantum field theory provide not only realistic examples of extant notions of empirical equivalence, but also new notions of empirical equivalence, both modal and occurrent. A simple but modern gravitational case goes back to the 1890s, but there has been apparently total neglect of the simplest relativistic analog, with the result that an erroneous claim has taken root that Special Relativity could not have accommodated gravity even if there were no bending of light. The fairly recent acceptance of (...)
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  19. Underdetermination, Realism, and Reason.John Earman - 1993 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 18 (1):19-38.
  20. Empirical Equivalence, Underdetermination, and Systems of the World.Carl Hoefer & Alexander Rosenberg - 1994 - Philosophy of Science 61 (4):592-607.
    The underdetermination of theory by evidence must be distinguished from holism. The latter is a doctrine about the testing of scientific hypotheses; the former is a thesis about empirically adequate logically incompatible global theories or "systems of the world". The distinction is crucial for an adequate assessment of the underdetermination thesis. The paper shows how some treatments of underdetermination are vitiated by failure to observe this distinction, and identifies some necessary conditions for the existence of multiple empirically (...)
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  21. Underdetermination, Model-Ensembles and Surprises: On the Epistemology of Scenario-Analysis in Climatology.Gregor Betz - 2009 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 40 (1):3-21.
    As climate policy decisions are decisions under uncertainty, being based on a range of future climate change scenarios, it becomes a crucial question how to set up this scenario range. Failing to comply with the precautionary principle, the scenario methodology widely used in the Third Assessment Report of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) seems to violate international environmental law, in particular a provision of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. To place climate policy advice on a (...)
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  22.  39
    Metaphysical Underdetermination as a Motivational Device.Steven French - unknown
    The view that quantum particles cannot be regarded as individuals was articulated in the early days of the 'quantum revolution' and became so well-entrenched that French and Krause called it 'the Received View'. However it was subsequently shown that quantum statistics is in fact compatible with a metaphysics of particle individuality, subject to certain caveats. As a consequent it has been claim that there exists a kind of underdetermination of the metaphysics by the physics which in turn has been (...)
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  23. Underdetermination, Holism and the Theory/Data Distinction.Samir Okasha - 2002 - Philosophical Quarterly 52 (208):303-319.
    I examine the argument that scientific theories are typically 'underdetermined' by the data, an argument which has often been used to combat scientific realism. I deal with two objections to the underdetermination argument: (i) that the argument conflicts with the holistic nature of confirmation, and (ii) that the argument rests on an untenable theory/data dualism. I discuss possible responses to both objections, and argue that in both cases the proponent of underdetermination can respond in ways which are individually (...)
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  24. Underdetermination and the Problem of Identical Rivals.P. D. Magnus - 2003 - Philosophy of Science 70 (5):1256-1264.
    If two theory formulations are merely different expressions of the same theory, then any problem of choosing between them cannot be due to the underdetermination of theories by data. So one might suspect that we need to be able to tell distinct theories from mere alternate formulations before we can say anything substantive about underdetermination, that we need to solve the problem of identical rivals before addressing the problem of underdetermination. Here I consider two possible solutions: Quine (...)
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  25. Holism, Underdetermination, and the Dynamics of Empirical Theories.Ulrich Gähde - 2002 - Synthese 130 (1):69 - 90.
    The goal of this article is to show that the structuralist approachprovides a powerful framework for the analysis of certain holistic phenomena in empirical theories.We focus on two aspects of holism. The first refers to the involvement of comprehensive complexes of hypothesesin the theoretical treatment of systems regarded in isolation. By contrast, the second refers to thecorrelation between the theoretical descriptions of different systems. It is demonstrated how these two aspectscan be analysed by making use of the structuralist notion of (...)
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  26.  56
    Underdetermination and Evidence in the Developmental Plasticity Debate.Karen Kovaka - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (1):127-152.
    I identify a controversial hypothesis in evolutionary biology called the plasticity-first hypothesis. I argue that the plasticity-first hypothesis is underdetermined and that the most popular means of studying the plasticity-first hypothesis are insufficient to confirm or disconfirm it. I offer a strategy for overcoming this problem. Researchers need to develop a richer middle range theory of plasticity-first evolution that allows them to identify distinctive empirical traces of the hypothesis. They can then use those traces to discriminate between rival explanations of (...)
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  27. Underdetermination in Cosmology: An Invitation.Jeremy Butterfield - 2012 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 86 (1):1-18.
    I discuss how modern cosmology illustrates underdetermination of theoretical hypotheses by data, in ways that are different from most philosophical discussions. I confine the discussion to the history of the observable universe from about one second after the Big Bang, as described by the mainstream cosmological model: in effect, what cosmologists in the early 1970s dubbed the ‘standard model’, as elaborated since then. Or rather, the discussion is confined to a few aspects of that history. I emphasize that despite (...)
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  28. Underdetermination of Scientific Theory.Kyle Stanford - 2009 - In Edward N. Zalta (ed.), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  29. Underdetermination and the Claims of Science.P. D. Magnus - 2003 - Dissertation, University of California, San Diego
    The underdetermination of theory by evidence is supposed to be a reason to rethink science. It is not. Many authors claim that underdetermination has momentous consequences for the status of scientific claims, but such claims are hidden in an umbra of obscurity and a penumbra of equivocation. So many various phenomena pass for `underdetermination' that it's tempting to think that it is no unified phenomenon at all, so I begin by providing a framework within which all these (...)
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  30. Underdetermination and Rational Choice of Theories.Jacob Busch - 2009 - Philosophia 37 (1):55-65.
    The underdetermination of theory by data argument (UD) is traditionally construed as an argument that tells us that we ought to favour an anti-realist position over a realist position. I argue that when UD is constructed as an argument saying that theory choice is to proceed between theories that are empirically equivalent and adequate to the phenomena up until now, the argument will not favour constructive empiricism over realism. A constructive empiricist cannot account for why scientists are reasonable in (...)
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  31. Consciousness Science Underdetermined: A Short History of Endless Debates.Matthias Michel - 2019 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 6.
    Consciousness scientists have not reached consensus on two of the most central questions in their field: first, on whether consciousness overflows reportability; second, on the physical basis of consciousness. I review the scientific literature of the 19th century to provide evidence that disagreement on these questions has been a feature of the scientific study of consciousness for a long time. Based on this historical review, I hypothesize that a unifying explanation of disagreement on these questions, up to this day, is (...)
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  32. Underdetermination and Realism.Michael Devitt - 2002 - Noûs 36 (s1):26 - 50.
  33. Underdetermination, Realism, and Theory Appraisal: An Epistemological Reflection on Quantum Mechanics. [REVIEW]Darrin W. Belousek - 2005 - Foundations of Physics 35 (4):669-695.
    This paper examines the epistemological significance of the present situation of underdetermination in quantum mechanics. After analyzing this underdetermination at three levels---formal, ontological, and methodological---the paper considers implications for a number of variants of the thesis of scientific realism in fundamental physics and reassesses Lakatos‘ characterization of progress in physical theory in light of the present situation. Next, this paper considers the implications of underdetermination for Weinberg’s ‘‘dream of a final theory.’’ Finally, the paper concludes by suggesting (...)
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  34. Underdeterminations of Consciousness in Quantum Mechanics.Lauro de Matos Nunes Filho & Raoni Wohnrath Arroyo - 2018 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 22 (2):321-337.
    Metaphysical underdetermination arises when we are not able to decide, through purely theoretical criteria, between competing interpretations of scientific theories with different metaphysical commitments. This is the case in which non-relativistic quantum mechanics (QM) finds itself in. Among several available interpretations, there is the one that states that the interaction with the conscious mind of a human observer causes a change in the dynamics of quantum objects undergoing from indefinite to definite states. In this paper, we argue that there (...)
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  35. The Underdetermination of Total Theories.Jarrett Leplin - 1997 - Erkenntnis 47 (2):203-215.
    This paper criticizes the attempt to found the epistemological doctrine that all theories are evidentially underdetermined on the thesis that all theories have empirically equivalent rivals. The criticisms focus on the role of auxiliary hypotheses in prediction. It is argued, in particular, that if auxiliaries are underdetermined, then the thesis of empirical equivalence is undecidable. The inference from empirical equivalence to the underdetermination of total theories would seem to survive the criticisms, because total theories do not require auxiliaries to (...)
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  36. Meaning Underdetermines What is Said, Therefore Utterances Express Many Propositions.Thomas Hodgson - 2018 - Dialectica 72 (2):165-189.
    Linguistic meaning underdetermines what is said. This has consequences for philosophical accounts of meaning, communication, and propositional attitude reports. I argue that the consequence we should endorse is that utterances typically express many propositions, that these are what speakers mean, and that the correct semantics for attitude reports will handle this fact while being relational and propositional.
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  37. Philosophical Responses to Underdetermination in Science.Seungbae Park - 2009 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 40 (1):115–124.
    What attitude should we take toward a scientific theory when it competes with other scientific theories? This question elicited different answers from instrumentalists, logical positivists, constructive empiricists, scientific realists, holists, theory-ladenists, antidivisionists, falsificationists, and anarchists in the philosophy of science literature. I will summarize the diverse philosophical responses to the problem of underdetermination, and argue that there are different kinds of underdetermination, and that they should be kept apart from each other because they call for different responses.
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  38.  52
    Manipulating Underdetermination in Scientific Controversy: The Case of the Molecular Clock.Michael R. Dietrich & Robert A. Skipper - 2007 - Perspectives on Science 15 (3):295-326.
    : Where there are cases of underdetermination in scientific controversies, such as the case of the molecular clock, scientists may direct the course and terms of dispute by playing off the multidimensional framework of theory evaluation. This is because assessment strategies themselves are underdetermined. Within the framework of assessment, there are a variety of trade-offs between different strategies as well as shifting emphases as specific strategies are given more or less weight in assessment situations. When a strategy is underdetermined, (...)
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  39. The Underdetermination of Theory by Data and the "Strong Programme" in the Sociology of Knowledge.Samir Okasha - 2000 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 14 (3):283 – 297.
    Advocates of the "strong programme" in the sociology of knowledge have argued that, because scientific theories are "underdetermined" by data, sociological factors must be invoked to explain why scientists believe the theories they do. I examine this argument, and the responses to it by J.R. Brown (1989) and L. Laudan (1996). I distinguish between a number of different versions of the underdetermination thesis, some trivial, some substantive. I show that Brown's and Laudan's attempts to refute the sociologists' argument fail. (...)
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  40. Defending Underdetermination or Why the Historical Perspective Makes a Difference.Wolfgang Pietsch - 2010 - In Henk W. de Regt (ed.), Epsa Philosophy of Science: Amsterdam 2009. Springer. pp. 303--313.
    The old antagonism between the Quinean and the Duhemian view on underdetermination is reexamined. In this respect, two theses will be defended. First, it is argued that the main differences between Quine's and Duhem's versions of underdetermination derive from a different attitude towards the history of science. While Quine considered underdetermination from an ahistorical, a logical point of view, Duhem approached it as a distinguished historian of physics. On this basis, a logical and a historical version of (...)
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  41.  97
    Underdetermination: Craig and Ramsey.Jane English - 1973 - Journal of Philosophy 70 (14):453-462.
  42.  52
    Underdetermination of Infinitesimal Probabilities.Alexander R. Pruss - 2018 - Synthese 198 (1):777-799.
    A number of philosophers have attempted to solve the problem of null-probability possible events in Bayesian epistemology by proposing that there are infinitesimal probabilities. Hájek and Easwaran have argued that because there is no way to specify a particular hyperreal extension of the real numbers, solutions to the regularity problem involving infinitesimals, or at least hyperreal infinitesimals, involve an unsatisfactory ineffability or arbitrariness. The arguments depend on the alleged impossibility of picking out a particular hyperreal extension of the real numbers (...)
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  43.  56
    Underdetermination, Domain Restriction, and Theory Choice.Mark Bowker - 2019 - Mind and Language 34 (2):205-220.
    It is often possible to know what a speaker intends to communicate without knowing what they intend to say. In such cases, speakers need not intend to say anything at all. Stanley and Szabó's influential survey of possible analysis of quantifier domain restriction is, therefore, incomplete and the arguments made by Clapp and Buchanan against Truth Conditional Compositionality and propositional speaker-meaning are flawed. Two theories should not always be viewed as incompatible when they associate the same utterance with different propositions, (...)
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  44.  23
    Underdetermination in Evidence-Based Medicine.Benjamin H. Chin-Yee - 2014 - Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 20 (6):921-927.
  45. Quine, Underdetermination, and Skepticism.Lars Bergström - 1993 - Journal of Philosophy 90 (7):331-358.
  46. Recurrent Transient Underdetermination and the Glass Half Full. [REVIEW]Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 137 (1):141 - 148.
    Kyle Stanford’s arguments against scientific realism are assessed, with a focus on the underdetermination of theory by evidence. I argue that discussions of underdetermination have neglected a possible symmetry which may ameliorate the situation.
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  47. Fallibilism, Underdetermination, and Skepticism.Anthony Brueckner - 2005 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 71 (2):384-391.
    Fallibilism about knowledge and justification is a widely held view in epistemology. In this paper, I will try to arrive at a proper formulation of fallibilism. Fallibilists often hold that Cartesian skepticism is a view that deserves to be taken seriously and dealt with somehow. I argue that it turns out that a canonical form of skeptical argument depends upon the denial of fallibilism. I conclude by considering a response on behalf of the skeptic.
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  48. Semantic Underdetermination and the Cognitive Uses of Language.Agustin Vicente & Fernando Martinez-Manrique - 2005 - Mind and Language 20 (5):537–558.
    According to the thesis of semantic underdetermination, most sentences of a natural language lack a definite semantic interpretation. This thesis supports an argument against the use of natural language as an instrument of thought, based on the premise that cognition requires a semantically precise and compositional instrument. In this paper we examine several ways to construe this argument, as well as possible ways out for the cognitive view of natural language in the introspectivist version defended by Carruthers. Finally, we (...)
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  49.  36
    The Underdetermination of Theory by Data.W. Newton-Smith & Steven Lukes - 1978 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 52 (1):71 - 107.
  50.  6
    Ineliminable Underdetermination and Context-Shifting Arguments.Mark Bowker - 2022 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 65 (2):215-236.
    ABSTRACT The truth-conditions of utterances are often underdetermined by the meaning of the sentence uttered, as suggested by the observation that the same sentence has different intuitive truth-values in different contexts. The intuitive difference is usually explained by assigning different truth-conditions to different utterances. This paper poses a problem for explanations of this kind: These truth-conditions, if they exist, are epistemically inaccessible. I suggest instead that truth-conditional underdetermination is ineliminable and these utterances have no truth-conditions. Intuitive truth-values are explained (...)
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