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  1. added 2020-01-03
    Abduction - The Context of Discovery + Underdetermination = Inference to the Best Explanation.Mousa Mohammadian - forthcoming - Synthese.
    The relationship between Peircean abduction and the modern notion of Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE) is a matter of dispute. Some philosophers such as Harman and Lipton claim that abduction and IBE are virtually the same. Others, however, hold that they are quite different (e.g., Hintikka and Minnameier) and there is no link between them (Campos). In this paper, I argue that neither of these views is correct. I show that abduction and IBE have important similarities as well as (...)
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  2. added 2020-01-03
    The Problem of State-Dependent Utility: A Reappraisal.Jean Baccelli - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axz024.
    State-dependent utility is a problem for the behavioural branch of decision theory under uncertainty. It questions the very possibility that beliefs be revealed by choice data. According to the current literature, all models of beliefs are equally exposed to the problem. Moreover, the problem is solvable only when the decision-maker can influence the resolution of uncertainty. This paper gives grounds to reject these two views. The various models of beliefs can be shown to be unequally exposed to the problem of (...)
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  3. added 2019-08-23
    Underdetermination in Economics: The Duhem-Quine Thesis.K. R. Sawyer, Howard Sankey & Clive Beed - 1997 - Economics and Philosophy 13 (1):1-23.
    This paper considers the relevance of the Duhem-Quine thesis in economics. In the introductory discussion which follows, the meaning of the thesis and a brief history of its development are detailed. The purpose of the paper is to discuss the effects of the thesis in four specific and diverse theories in economics, and to illustrate the dependence of testing the theories on a set of auxiliary hypotheses. A general taxonomy of auxiliary hypotheses is provided to demonstrate the confounding of auxiliary (...)
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  4. added 2019-05-28
    Teaching & Learning Guide For: Duality and Ontology.Baptiste Le Bihan & James Read - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (12):e12555.
    Dualities are a pervasive phenomenon in contemporary physics, in which two physical theories are empirically equivalent, yet prima facie make different ontological claims about the world (potentially very different claims—differing in e.g. the number and radius of dimensions of the universe). Dualities thus present a particular instantiation of the well-known notion of underdetermination of theory by evidence. Many different philosophical proposals have been made for how such putative underdetermination might be resolved—this continues to be a programme of active research.
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  5. added 2019-05-28
    Underdetermination and Models in Biology.Petr Jedlička - 2017 - Teorie Vědy / Theory of Science 39 (2):167-186.
    Since the early 20th century underdetermination has been one of the most contentious problems in the philosophy of science. In this article I relate the underdetermination problem to models in biology and defend two main lines of argument: First, the use of models in this discipline lends strong support to the underdetermination thesis. Second, models and theories in biology are not determined strictly by the logic of representation of the studied phenomena, but also by other constraints such as research traditions, (...)
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  6. added 2019-05-28
    The Intelligibility Objection Against Underdetermination.Rogério Passos Severo - 2012 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 16 (1):121-146.
    One of the objections against the thesis of underdetermination of theories by observations is that it is unintelligible. Any two empirically equivalent theories — so the argument goes—are in principle intertranslatable, hence cannot count as rivals in any non-trivial sense. Against that objection, this paper shows that empirically equivalent theories may contain theoretical sentences that are not intertranslatable. Examples are drawn from a related discussion about incommensurability that shows that theoretical non-intertranslatability is possible.
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  7. added 2019-05-28
    The Underdetermination of Typings.Jan Westerhoff - 2003 - Erkenntnis 58 (3):379 - 414.
    This paper argues that there is no possible structural way of drawing a distinction between objects of different types, such as individuals and properties of different adicities and orders. We show first that purely combinatorial information (information about how objects combine to form states of affairs) is not sufficient for doing this. We show that for any set of such combinatorial data there is always more than one way of typing them – that is, there are always several ways of (...)
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  8. added 2019-04-03
    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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  9. added 2018-12-18
    Suppressed Subjectivity and Truncated Tradition: A Reply to Pablo Schyfter.Jeff Kochan - 2018 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 7 (12):15-21.
    Author's response to: Pablo Schyfter, 'Inaccurate Ambitions and Missing Methodologies: Thoughts on Jeff Kochan and the Sociology of Scientific Knowledge,' Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 7, no. 8 (2018): 8-14. -- Part of a book-review symposium on: Jeff Kochan (2017), Science as Social Existence: Heidegger and the Sociology of Scientific Knowledge (Cambridge UK: Open Book Publishers).
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  10. added 2018-12-14
    La ciencia como un punto de vista: algunos desafíos a la objetividad científica.Mario Gensollen & Marc Jiménez Rolland - 2018 - Daimon: Revista Internacional de Filosofía 75:43-57.
    Resumen: Algunos críticos de la ciencia afirman que es sólo un punto de vista entre otros, sin alguna autoridad epistémica especial. No obstante, en este artículo se defiende que la idea de que la investigación científica involucra una perspectiva o punto de vista no impone una restricción a su ideal de objetividad. Primero se presentan algunas aclaraciones sobre la noción de punto de vista, luego se atiende al concepto de objetividad científica, y por último se enfrentan algunos desafíos que se (...)
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  11. added 2018-10-11
    Down to Earth Underdetermination.Gordon Belot - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 91 (2):456-464.
    There are many parts of science in which a certain sort of underdetermination of theory by evidence is known to be common. It is argued that reflection on this fact should serve to shift the burden of proof from scientific anti-realists to scientific realists at a crucial point in the debate between them.
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  12. added 2018-10-11
    Reconsidering Closure, Underdetermination, and Infallibilism.Jochen Briesen - 2010 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 80 (1):221-234.
    Anthony Brueckner argues for a strong connection between the closure and the underdetermination argument for scepticism. Moreover, he claims that both arguments rest on infallibilism: In order to motivate the premises of the arguments, the sceptic has to refer to an infallibility principle. If this were true, fallibilists would be right in not taking the problems posed by these sceptical arguments seriously. As many epistemologists are sympathetic to fallibilism, this would be a very interesting result. However, in this paper I (...)
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  13. added 2018-07-16
    Scientific Realism Meets Metaphysics of Quantum Mechanics.Juha Saatsi - 2017 - In Philosophers Think About Quantum Theory.
    I examine the epistemological debate on scientific realism in the context of quantum physics, focusing on the empirical underdetermin- ation of different formulations and interpretations of QM. I will argue that much of the interpretational, metaphysical work on QM tran- scends the kinds of realist commitments that are well-motivated in the light of the history of science. I sketch a way of demarcating empirically well-confirmed aspects of QM from speculative quantum metaphysics in a way that coheres with anti-realist evidence from (...)
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  14. added 2018-07-16
    Nowa indukcja a nowy realizm.Mateusz Kotowski - 2015 - Filo-Sofija 29:65-78.
    P. Kyle Stanford formulated his New Induction over the History of Science in order to show that underdetermination of scientific theories by evidence is a genuine problem of scientific theorizing about the world and a one that all scientific realists should take seriously. His argument uses historical record to show that because successful theories of the past were typically, in the light of the then available evidence, underdetermined by theories which we could not at the time conceive, we should expect (...)
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  15. added 2018-07-16
    Underdetermination and Theory-Ladenness Against Impartiality.Nicla Vassallo - 2015 - ProtoSociology 32:216-234.
    The aim of this paper is to show that science, understood as pure research, ought not to be affected by non-epistemic values and thus to defend the traditional ideal of value-free science. First, we will trace the distinction between science and technology, arguing that science should be identified with pure research and that any non-epistemic concern should be di­rected toward technology and technological research. Second, we will examine different kinds of values and the roles they can play in scientific research (...)
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  16. added 2018-07-16
    What’s New About the New Induction?P. D. Magnus - 2006 - Synthese 148 (2):295-301.
    The problem of underdetermination is thought to hold important lessons for philosophy of science. Yet, as Kyle Stanford has recently argued, typical treatments of it offer only restatements of familiar philosophical problems. Following suggestions in Duhem and Sklar, Stanford calls for a New Induction from the history of science. It will provide proof, he thinks, of "the kind of underdetermination that the history of science reveals to be a distinctive and genuine threat to even our best scientific theories" . This (...)
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  17. added 2018-07-16
    Hormone Research as an Exemplar of Underdetermination.P. D. Magnus - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 36 (3):559-567.
    Debates about the underdetermination of theory by data often turn on specific examples. Cases invoked often enough become familiar, even well worn. Since Helen Longino’s discussion of the case, the connection between prenatal hormone levels and gender-linked childhood behaviour has become one of these stock examples. However, as I argue here, the case is not genuinely underdetermined. We can easily imagine a possible experiment to decide the question. The fact that we would not perform this experiment is a moral, rather (...)
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  18. added 2018-07-16
    Background Theories and Total Science.P. D. Magnus - 2004 - Philosophy of Science 72 (5):1064-1075.
    Background theories in science are used both to prove and to disprove that theory choice is underdetermined by data. The alleged proof appeals to the fact that experiments to decide between theories typically require auxiliary assumptions from other theories. If this generates a kind of underdetermination, it shows that standards of scientific inference are fallible and must be appropriately contextualized. The alleged disproof appeals to the possibility of suitable background theories to show that no theory choice can be timelessly or (...)
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  19. added 2018-07-16
    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 worries can be (...)
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  20. added 2018-06-20
    Bridging a Fault Line: On Underdetermination and the Ampliative Adequacy of Competing Theories.Guy Axtell - 2014 - In Editor Abrol Fairweather (ed.), Virtue Epistemology Naturalized. Synthese Library. pp. 227-245.
    This paper pursues Ernan McMullin‘s claim ("Virtues of a Good Theory" and related papers on theory-choice) that talk of theory virtues exposes a fault-line in philosophy of science separating "very different visions" of scientific theorizing. It argues that connections between theory virtues and virtue epistemology are substantive rather than ornamental, since both address underdetermination problems in science, helping us to understand the objectivity of theory choice and more specifically what I term the ampliative adequacy of scientific theories. The paper argues (...)
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  21. added 2017-07-02
    Traditional Literary Interpretation Versus Subversive Interpretation.Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    I present some objections to traditional literary interpretation and consider subversive interpretation as a solution to these problems. Subversive interpretation may seem more scientific and more democratic than traditional interpretation, but it is open to doubt that it is more democratic.
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  22. added 2017-05-27
    Aesthetic Values in Science.Milena Ivanova - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (10):e12433.
    Scientists often use aesthetic values in the evaluation and choice of theories. Aesthetic values are not only regarded as leading to practically more useful theories but are often taken to stand in a special epistemic relation to the truth of a theory such that the aesthetic merit of a theory is evidence of its truth. This paper explores what aesthetic considerations influence scientists' reasoning, how such aesthetic values relate to the utility of a scientific theory, and how one can justify (...)
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  23. added 2016-03-02
    Realism and the Absence of Rivals.Finnur Dellsén - 2017 - Synthese 194 (7):2427-2446.
    Among the most serious challenges to scientific realism are arguments for the underdetermination of theory by evidence. This paper defends a version of scientific realism against what is perhaps the most influential recent argument of this sort, viz. Kyle Stanford’s New Induction over the History of Science. An essential part of the defense consists in a probabilistic analysis of the slogan “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”. On this basis it is argued that the likelihood of a theory (...)
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  24. added 2015-10-25
    Why Semantic Unspecificity is Not Indexicality.Delia Belleri - 2014 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 10 (1):56-69.
    In this paper, I address the idea that certain sentences suffer from what is generally called semantic unspecificity: their meaning is determinate, but their truth conditions are not. While there tends to be agreement on the idea that semantic unspecificity differs from phenomena such as ambiguity and vagueness, some theorists have defended an account which traces it to indexicality, broadly construed. Some authors have tried to vindicate the distinction between unspecificity and indexicality and, in this paper, I pursue the same (...)
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  25. added 2015-09-06
    Material Evidence.Alison Wylie & Robert Chapman (eds.) - 2015 - New York / London: Routledge.
    How do archaeologists make effective use of physical traces and material culture as repositories of evidence? Material Evidence is a collection of 19 essays that take a resolutely case-based approach to this question, exploring key instances of exemplary practice, instructive failures, and innovative developments in the use of archaeological data as evidence. The goal is to bring to the surface the wisdom of practice, teasing out norms of archaeological reasoning from evidence. -/- Archaeologists make compelling use of an enormously diverse (...)
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  26. added 2015-08-02
    Objectivity and Bias.Gordon Belot - 2017 - Mind 126 (503):655-695.
    The twin goals of this essay are: to investigate a family of cases in which the goal of guaranteed convergence to the truth is beyond our reach; and to argue that each of three strands prominent in contemporary epistemological thought has undesirable consequences when confronted with the existence of such problems. Approaches that follow Reichenbach in taking guaranteed convergence to the truth to be the characteristic virtue of good methods face a vicious closure problem. Approaches on which there is a (...)
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  27. added 2015-06-26
    Judging Quality and Coordination in Biomarker Diagnostic Development.Spencer Phillips Hey - 2015 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 30 (2):207-227.
    What makes a high-quality biomarker experiment? The success of personalized medicine hinges on the answer to this question. In this paper, I argue that judgment about the quality of biomarker experiments is mediated by the problem of theoretical underdetermination. That is, the network of biological and pathophysiological theories motivating a biomarker experiment is sufficiently complicated that it often frustrates valid interpretation of the experimental results. Drawing on a case-study in biomarker diagnostic development from neurooncology, I argue that this problem of (...)
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  28. added 2015-04-27
    Evolution of Quine’s Thinking on the Thesis of Underdetermination and Scott Soames’s Accusation of Paradoxicality.M. Ashraf Adeel - 2015 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 5 (1):56-69.
    Scott Soames argues that interpreted in the light of Quine's holistic verificationism, Quine's thesis of underdetermination leads to a contradiction. It is contended here that if we pay proper attention to the evolution of Quine's thinking on the subject, particularly his criterion of theory individuation, Quine's thesis of underdetermination escapes Soames' charge of paradoxicality.
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  29. added 2014-03-17
    Constructive Empiricism and the Argument From Underdetermination.Maarten Van Dyck - 2007 - In Bradley John Monton (ed.), Images of Empiricism: Essays on Science and Stances, with a Reply From Bas C. Van Fraassen. Oxford University Press.
    It is argued that, contrary to prevailing opinion, Bas van Fraassen nowhere uses the argument from underdetermination in his argument for constructive empiricism. It is explained that van Fraassen’s use of the notion of empirical equivalence in The Scientific Image has been widely misunderstood. A reconstruction of the main arguments for constructive empiricism is offered, showing how the passages that have been taken to be part of an appeal to the argument from underdetermination should actually be interpreted.
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  30. added 2014-03-09
    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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  31. added 2014-03-07
    Peirce: Underdetermination, Agnosticism, and Related Mistakes.P. D. Magnus - 2005 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 48 (1):26 – 37.
    There are two ways that we might respond to the underdetermination of theory by data. One response, which we can call the agnostic response, is to suspend judgment: "Where scientific standards cannot guide us, we should believe nothing". Another response, which we can call the fideist response, is to believe whatever we would like to believe: "If science cannot speak to the question, then we may believe anything without science ever contradicting us". C.S. Peirce recognized these options and suggested evading (...)
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  32. added 2013-12-16
    Three Ways of Getting It Wrong: Induction in Wonderland.Brendan Shea - 2010 - In Richard Brian Davis (ed.), Alice in Wonderland and Philosophy: Curiouser and Curiouser. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 93-107.
    Alice encounters at least three distinct problems in her struggles to understand and navigate Wonderland. The first arises when she attempts to predict what will happen in Wonderland based on what she has experienced outside of Wonderland. In many cases, this proves difficult -- she fails to predict that babies might turn into pigs, that a grin could survive without a cat or that playing cards could hold criminal trials. Alice's second problem involves her efforts to figure out the basic (...)
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  33. added 2013-10-22
    Determining the Determined State : The Sizing of Size From Aside/the Amassing of Mass by a Mass.Marvin Kirsh - 2013 - Philosophical Papers and Review 4 (4):49-65.
    A philosophical exploration is presented that considers entities such as atoms, electrons, protons, reasoned (in existing physics theories) by induction, to be other than universal building blocks, but artifacts of a sociological struggle that in elemental description is identical with that of all processes of matter and energy. In a universal context both men and materials, when stressed, struggle to accomplish/maintain the free state. The space occupied by cognition, inferred to be the result of the inequality of spaces, is an (...)
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  34. added 2011-01-28
    Underdetermination of Physical Theory.Lars Bergström - 2004 - In Roger F. Gibson (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Quine. Cambridge University Press. pp. 91--114.
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  35. added 2011-01-27
    Are Quine’s Two Indeterminacy Theses Compatible?Gábor Forrai - 1999 - Acta Analytica 14 (23.):89-99..
    The paper seeks to show that Quine’s theses concerning the underdetermination of scientific theories by experience and the indeterminacy of reference cannot be reconciled if some of Quine’s central assumptions are accepted. The argument is this. Quine holds that the thesis about reference is not just a special case of the other thesis. In order to make sense of this comment we must distinguish between factual and epistemic indeterminacy. Something is factual indeterminate if it is not determined by the facts. (...)
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  36. added 2010-12-09
    Ramsification and Inductive Inference.Panu Raatikainen - 2012 - Synthese 187 (2):569-577.
    An argument, different from the Newman objection, against the view that the cognitive content of a theory is exhausted by its Ramsey sentence is reviewed. The crux of the argument is that Ramsification may ruin inductive systematization between theory and observation. The argument also has some implications concerning the issue of underdetermination.
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  37. added 2009-10-13
    The Identical Rivals Response to Underdetermination.Greg Frost-Arnold & P. D. Magnus - 2009 - In P. D. Magnus Jacob Busch (ed.), New Waves in Philosophy of Science. Palgrave-Macmillan.
    The underdetermination of theory by data obtains when, inescapably, evidence is insufficient to allow scientists to decide responsibly between rival theories. One response to would-be underdetermination is to deny that the rival theories are distinct theories at all, insisting instead that they are just different formulations of the same underlying theory; we call this the identical rivals response. An argument adapted from John Norton suggests that the response is presumptively always appropriate, while another from Larry Laudan and Jarrett Leplin suggests (...)
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