Hormone research as an exemplar of underdetermination

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Abstract
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 than epistemic, point. Finally, I suggest that the ”underdetermination’ of the case may be inessential for Longino to establish her central claim about it.
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Archival date: 2018-06-06
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Realist Ennui and the Base Rate Fallacy.Magnus, P. D. & Callender, Craig
Empirical Equivalence and Underdetermination.Laudan, Larry & Leplin, Jarrett

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2010-08-30

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