David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Synthese 112 (1):53-73 (1997)
A closer examination of scientific practice has cast doubt recently on the thesis that observation necessarily fails to determine theory. In some cases scientists derive fundamental hypotheses from phenomena and general background knowledge by means of demonstrative induction. This note argues that it is wrong to interpret such an argument as providing inductive support for the conclusion, e.g. by eliminating rival hypotheses. The examination of the deduction of the inverse square law of gravitation due to J. Bertrand, and R. Fowler's deduction of the quantization of the linear harmonic oscillator's energy spectrum from Planck's radiation law illustrates this point. It is suggested that demonstrative induction is a computational step in fitting a theoretical model and a set of phenomena, with little direct confirmational impact. The thesis of underdetermination, whatever one may think of it, is not threatened by demonstrative induction.
|Keywords||Philosophy Philosophy Epistemology Logic Metaphysics Philosophy of Language|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
P. D. Magnus (2008). Demonstrative Induction and the Skeleton of Inference. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 22 (3):303-315.
P. D. Magnus (2008). Demonstrative Induction and the Skeleton of Inference. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 22 (3):303 – 315.
Similar books and articles
Christian Wuthrich (2005). To Quantize or Not to Quantize: Fact and Folklore in Quantum Gravity. Philosophy of Science 72 (5):777-788.
Roger Penrose & C. J. Isham (eds.) (1986). Quantum Concepts in Space and Time. New York ;Oxford University Press.
Henrik Zinkernagel (2006). The Philosophy Behind Quantum Gravity. Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 21 (3):295-312.
John D. Norton (forthcoming). Must Evidence Underdetermine Theory. The Challenge of the Social and the Pressure of Practice:17--44.
Michela Massimi (2004). What Demonstrative Induction Can Do Against the Threat of Underdetermination: Bohr, Heisenberg, and Pauli on Spectroscopic Anomalies (1921–24). Synthese 140 (3):243-277.
Jonathan Bain (1998). Weinberg on QFT: Demonstrative Induction and Underdetermination. Synthese 117 (1):1-30.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads23 ( #174,748 of 1,934,534 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #195,826 of 1,934,534 )
How can I increase my downloads?