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Underdetermination and the Claims of Science

Dissertation, University of California, San Diego (2003)

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  1. Realist Ennui and the Base Rate Fallacy.P. D. Magnus & Craig Callender - 2004 - Philosophy of Science 71 (3):320-338.
    The no-miracles argument and the pessimistic induction are arguably the main considerations for and against scientific realism. Recently these arguments have been accused of embodying a familiar, seductive fallacy. In each case, we are tricked by a base rate fallacy, one much-discussed in the psychological literature. In this paper we consider this accusation and use it as an explanation for why the two most prominent `wholesale' arguments in the literature seem irresolvable. Framed probabilistically, we can see very clearly why realists (...)
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  • 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 is (...)
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  • Psa 2012.-Preprint Volume- - unknown
    These preprints were automatically compiled into a PDF from the collection of papers deposited in PhilSci-Archive in conjunction with the PSA 2012.
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  • Quatro Teses de Subdeterminação de Teorias Pelas Observações: Significados, Plausibilidades E Implicações.Guilherme Gräf Schüler & Rogério P. Severo - 2020 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 24 (2).
    Este artigo mostra que não há uma tese de subdeterminação de teorias científicas pelos indícios observacionais, mas várias. Identificamos quatro, com significados, plausibilidades e implicações distintos. Mostra-se que as mais fortes não passam de conjeturas, e que as mais fracas são mais plausíveis, mas não possuem implicações filosóficas robustas – em particular, não implicam o antirrealismo científico –, embora forneçam indícios de alternativas teóricas sistematicamente ignoradas na ciência, bem como do emprego de critérios em parte valorativos de escolha de teorias.
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  • 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 broader arguments against scientific realism and in (...)
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  • Externalismo semántico y subdeterminación empírica. Respuesta a un desafío al realismo científico.Marc Jiménez Rolland - 2017 - Dissertation, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana
    I offer an explicit account of the underdetermination thesis as well as of the many challenges it poses to scientific realism; a way to answer to these challenges is explored and outlined, by shifting attention to the content of theories. I argue that, even if we have solid grounds (as I contend we do) to support that some varieties of the underdetermination thesis are true, scientific realism can still offer an adequate picture of the aims and achievements of science.
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  • 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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  • Science, Values, and the Priority of Evidence.P. D. Magnus - 2018 - Logos and Episteme 9 (4):413-431.
    It is now commonly held that values play a role in scientific judgment, but many arguments for that conclusion are limited. First, many arguments do not show that values are, strictly speaking, indispensable. The role of values could in principle be filled by a random or arbitrary decision. Second, many arguments concern scientific theories and concepts which have obvious practical consequences, thus suggesting or at least leaving open the possibility that abstruse sciences without such a connection could be value-free. Third, (...)
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  • Background Theories and Total Science.P. D. Magnus - 2005 - 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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  • Suppositional Reasoning and Perceptual Justification.Stewart Cohen - 2016 - Logos and Episteme 7 (2):215-219.
    James Van Cleve raises some objections to my attempt to solve the bootstrapping problem for what I call “basic justification theories.” I argue that given 1 the inference rules endorsed by basic justification theorists, we are a priori (propositionally) justified in believing that perception is reliable. This blocks the bootstrapping result.
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  • 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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  • 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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