Results for 'underdetermination'

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  1. Permissivism, Underdetermination, and Evidence.Elizabeth Jackson & Margaret Greta Turnbull - 2024 - In Clayton Littlejohn & Maria Lasonen-Aarnio (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Evidence. New York: Routledge. pp. 358–370.
    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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  2. 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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  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. 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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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. Underdetermination Thesis, Duhem-Quine Thesis.Stathis Psillos - unknown
    Underdetermination is a relation between evidence and theory. More accurately, it is a relation between the propositions that express the (relevant) evidence and the propositions that constitute the theory. Evidence is said to underdetermine theory. This may mean two things. First, the evidence cannot prove the truth of the theory. Second, the evidence cannot render the theory probable. Let’s call the first deductive underdetermination, and the second inductive (or ampliative) underdetermination. Both kinds of claim are supposed to (...)
     
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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. Motivating (Underdetermination) Scepticism.Guido Tana - forthcoming - Acta Analytica:1-30.
    The aim of this paper is to analyse and develop how scepticism becomes an intelligible question starting from requirements that epistemologists themselves aim to endorse. We argue for and defend the idea that the root of scepticism is the underdetermination principle by articulating its specificitya respectable epistemic principle and by defending it against objections in current literature. This engagement offers a novel understanding of underdetermination-based scepticism. While most anti-sceptical approaches challenge scepticism by understanding it as postulating uneliminated scenarios (...)
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  11. 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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    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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  13. 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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  14. Demystifying underdetermination.Larry Laudan - 1990 - In C. Wade Savage (ed.), Scientific Theories. University of Minnesota Press. pp. 267-97.
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    Gauge-Underdetermination and Shades of Locality in the Aharonov–Bohm Effect.Ruward A. Mulder - 2021 - Foundations of Physics 51 (2):1-26.
    I address the view that the classical electromagnetic potentials are shown by the Aharonov–Bohm effect to be physically real. I give a historico-philosophical presentation of this view and assess its prospects, more precisely than has so far been done in the literature. Taking the potential as physically real runs prima facie into ‘gauge-underdetermination’: different gauge choices represent different physical states of affairs and hence different theories. This fact is usually not acknowledged in the literature, neither by proponents nor by (...)
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  16. Closure, Underdetermination, and the Peculiarity of Sceptical Scenarios.Guido Tana - 2022 - Theoria 89 (1):73-97.
    Epistemologists understand radical skepticism as arising from two principles: Closure and Underdetermination. Both possess intuitive prima facie support for their endorsement. Understanding how they engender skepticism is crucial for any reasonable anti-skeptical attempt. The contemporary discussion has focused on elucidating the relationship between them to ascertain whether they establish distinct skeptical questions and which of the two constitutes the ultimately fundamental threat. Major contributions to this debate are due to Brueckner, Cohen, and Pritchard. This contribution aims at defending Brueckner’s (...)
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  17. Underdetermination vs. Indeterminacy.Juan José Lara - 2009 - Daimon: Revista Internacional de Filosofía 47:219-228.
    Thomas Bonk has dedicated a book to analyzing the thesis of underdetermination of scientific theories, with a chapter exclusively devoted to the analysis of the relation between this idea and the indeterminacy of meaning. Both theses caused a revolution in the philosophic world in the sixties, generating a cascade of articles and doctoral theses. Agitation seems to have cooled down, but the point is still debated and it may be experiencing a renewed resurgence.
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    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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  19. 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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  20. Underdetermination of Scientific Theory.Kyle Stanford - 2009 - In Edward N. Zalta (ed.), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  21. 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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  22. Realism, underdetermination, and a causal theory of evidence.Richard Boyd - 1973 - Noûs 7 (1):1-12.
  23. 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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  24. Living Words: Meaning Underdetermination and the Dynamic Lexicon.Peter Ludlow - 2014 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
    Peter Ludlow shows how word meanings are much more dynamic than we might have supposed, and explores how they are modulated even during everyday conversation. The resulting view is radical, and has far-reaching consequences for our political and legal discourse, and for enduring puzzles in the foundations of semantics, epistemology, and logic.
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  25. Underdetermination and Commonsense Realism.Michael Devitt - 2010 - In Putting Metaphysics First: Essays on Metaphysics and Epistemology. Oxford University Press. pp. 57--66.
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    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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  27. 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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  28. Underdetermination.P. Kyle Stanford - 2009 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    At the heart of the underdetermination of scientific theory by evidence is the simple idea that the evidence available to us at a given time may fail to determine what beliefs we should hold in response to it. In a textbook example, if I all I know is that you spent $10 on apples and oranges and that apples cost $1 while oranges cost $2, then I know that you did not buy six oranges, but I do not know (...)
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  29. 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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  30. 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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  31. 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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  32. The Underdetermination of Theory by Data.W. Newton-Smith & Steven Lukes - 1978 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 52:71-107.
  33. 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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  34. Underdetermination and Realism.Michael Devitt - 2002 - Noûs 36 (s1):26 - 50.
  35. 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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  36. 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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  37. 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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  38. 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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  39. 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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    Underdetermination.Nicholas Rescher - unknown
    Underdetermination can take many forms apart from the familiar case of the underdetermination of nature’s laws by the observed phenomena. Of particular interest here is the potential of underdetermination of nature’s phenomena by nature’s laws. The paper considers various ways in which this prospect might come to be realized, and goes on to consider some of the wider implications of this circumstance.
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    Underdetermination undeterred.Elizabeth Potter - 1996 - In Lynn Hankinson Nelson & Jack Nelson (eds.), Feminism, Science, and the Philosophy of Science. pp. 121--138.
  42.  63
    The Underdetermination of Theories and Scientific Realism.Mario Alai - 2019 - Axiomathes 29 (6):621-637.
    The empirical underdetermination of theories is a philosophical problem which until the last century has not seriously troubled actual science. The reason is that confirmation does not depend only on empirical consequences, and theoretical virtues allow to choose among empirically equivalent theories. Moreover, I argue that the theories selected in this way are not just pragmatically or aesthetically better, but more probably true. At present in quantum mechanics not even theoretical virtues allow to choose among many competing theories and (...)
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  43. Underdetermination, Realism, and Theory Appraisal: An Epistemological Reflection on Quantum Mechanics.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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  44.  45
    Underdetermination in Geophysics.Teru Miyake - unknown
    This paper examines the epistemological implications of a particular underdetermination problem from geophysics, with an emphasis on understanding how the scientists themselves tried to deal with the problem. The problem is from the highly influential work of the geophysicists Backus and Gilbert in the late 60’s, who were trying to determine the internal structure of the Earth using seismic waves. I find that actual underdetermination problems can be vastly complex, with different sources of underdetermination having different epistemological (...)
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  45. 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 (very!) few aspects of that history. I emphasize that (...)
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  46. Underdetermination and evidence.Alexander Bird - 2007 - In Bradley Monton (ed.), Images of Empiricism: Essays on Science and Stances, with a Reply From Bas C. Van Fraassen. Oxford University Press.
    I present an argument that encapsulates the view that theory is underdetermined by evidence. I show that if we accept Williamson's equation of evidence and knowledge, then this argument is question-begging. I examine ways of defenders of underdetermination may avoid this criticism. I also relate this argument and my critique to van Fraassen's constructive empiricism.
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  47. Underdetermination and closure: Thoughts on two sceptical arguments.Martin Smith - forthcoming - In Matthew Jope & Duncan Pritchard (eds.), New Perspectives on Epistemic Closure. Routledge.
    In this paper, I offer reasons for thinking that two prominent sceptical arguments in the literature – the underdetermination-based sceptical argument and the closure-based sceptical argument – are less philosophically interesting than is commonly supposed. The underdetermination-based argument begs the question against a non-sceptic and can be dismissed with little fanfare. The closure-based argument, though perhaps not question-begging per se, does rest upon contentious assumptions that a non-sceptic is under no pressure to accept.
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  48. 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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    Heterodox underdetermination: Metaphysical options for discernibility and (non-)entanglement.Maren Bräutigam - 2024 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 103 (C):77-84.
    Broadly speaking, there are three views on whether Leibniz’s Principle of the Identity of Indiscernibles (PII) is violated in the case of similar particles. According to the earliest view, PII is always violated (call this the no discernibility view); according to the more recent weak discernibility view, PII is at least valid in a weak sense. No and weak discernibility have been referred to as orthodoxy. Steven French has argued that although PII is violated, similar particles can still be regarded (...)
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  50. Must evidence underdetermine theory.John D. Norton - 2003 - The Challenge of the Social and the Pressure of Practice:17--44.
    According to the underdetermination thesis, all evidence necessarily underdetermines any scientific theory. Thus it is often argued that our agreement on the content of mature scientific theories must be due to social and other factors. Drawing on a long standing tradition of criticism, I shall argue that the underdetermination thesis is little more than speculation based on an impoverished account of induction. A more careful look at accounts of induction does not support an assured underdetermination or the (...)
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