Duhem, Quine, and the multiplicity of scientific tests

Philosophy of Science 61 (4):608-628 (1994)
Abstract
Duhem's and Quine's holistic theses, when properly understood, allow methodologically responsible ways of resolving a conflict between a theoretical system and experience; they only deny the possibility of doing it in an epistemically persuasive way. By developing a "string" model of scientific tests I argue that the pattern of interaction between the elements of a theoretical system arising in response to multiple adverse data can be helpful in locating a "weak spot" in it. Combining this model with anti-holistic arguments of Popper, Greenwood, and Lakatos significantly reinforces their joint power
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