A função e natureza das convenções e hipóteses segundo o convencionalismo francês da virada do século XIX para o XX: relações entre ciência e metafísica nas obras de Henri Poincaré, Pierre Durem e Édouard Le Roy

Dissertation, Rio de Janeiro State University (2015)
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In this work we present the function and we determine the nature of conventions and hypotheses for the scientific foundations according with the conventionalist doctrine that arose in France during the turning of the XIX century to the XX. The doctrine was composed by Henri Poincaré, Pierre Duhem and Édouard Le Roy. Moreover, we analyze the relation that conventions and hypotheses can establish with metaphysical thesis through criteria used by scientists in order to determine the preference for certain theories. Thereunto, we promote an immanent interpretation of published works between 1891 and 1905. As result, we reveal that the authors, though being classified as belonging to the same doctrine, don't have only common grounds, but also divergences. Poincaré and Le Roy agree that geometrical conventions are chosen in accordance with convenience criteria. However, they disagree about the value convenience aggregate to scientific knowledge. In regards to natural phenomena, the three authors agree that reality can't be described univocally by the same set of conventions and hypotheses. Yet, Poincaré and Duhem both believe that there are experimental, rational and axiological criteria that justify scientist's satisfaction with certain theories and we indicate how those criteria are related with metaphysics. We conclude that conventionalists, even if warily and implicitly, searched to approach metaphysics in order to justify scientific activity.
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