David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In Michael DePaul & William Ramsey (eds.), Rethinking Intuition. Rowman & Littlefield 113-128 (1998)
As a procedure, reflective equilibrium (RE) is simply a familiar kind of standard scientific method with a new name. (For descriptions of RE, see Daniels 1979, 1980b, 1984; Goodman 1965; Rawls 1971.) A theory is constructed to account for a set of observations. Recalcitrant data may be rejected as noise or explained away as the effects of interference of some sort. Recalcitrant data that cannot be plausibly dismissed force emendations in theory. What counts as a plausible dismissal depends, among other things, on the going theory, as well as on background theory and on knowledge that may be relevant to under-standing the experimental design that is generating the observations, including knowledge of the apparatus and observation conditions. This sort of mutual adjustment between theory and data is a familiar feature of scientific practice. Whatever authority RE seems to have comes, I think, from a tacit or explicit recognition that it has the same form as this familiar sort of scientific inference. One way to see the rationale underlying this procedure in science is to focus on prediction. Think of prediction as a matter of projecting what is known onto uncharted territory. To do this, you need a vehicle—a theory—that captures some invariant or pattern in what is known so that you can project it onto the unknown. How convincing the projection is depends on two factors: (i) how sure one is of the observational base, and (ii) how sure one is that the theory gets the invariants right. The two factors are not independent, of course. One's confidence in the observational base will be affected by how persuasively the theory identifies and dismisses noise; one's confidence in the theory, on the other hand, will depend on one's confidence in the observations it takes seriously. Prediction is important as a <span class='Hi'>test</span> of theory precisely because verified predictions seem to show that the theory has correctly captured the general in the particular, that it has got the drift of the observational evidence in which our confidence is ultimately grounded..
|Keywords||Intuition Reflective Equilibrium Philosophical method|
|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
Christina Starmans & Ori Friedman (2012). The Folk Conception of Knowledge. Cognition 124 (3):272-283.
Joshua Alexander & Jonathan M. Weinberg (2007). Analytic Epistemology and Experimental Philosophy. Philosophy Compass 2 (1):56–80.
Jennifer Wright (2010). On Intuitional Stability: The Clear, the Strong, and the Paradigmatic. Cognition 115 (3):491-503.
Tamar Szabó Gendler (2007). Philosophical Thought Experiments, Intuitions, and Cognitive Equilibrium. In Peter A. French & Howard K. Wettstein (eds.), Philosophy and the Empirical. Blackwell Pub. Inc. 68-89.
James Andow (2015). Thin, Fine and with Sensitivity: A Metamethodology of Intuitions. Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-21.
Similar books and articles
Jared Bates (2004). Reflective Equilibrium and Underdetermination in Epistemology. Acta Analytica 19 (32):45-64.
Theo van Willigenburg (1998). Norman Daniels: Justice and Justification. Reflective Equilibrium in Theory and Practice & Folke Tersman, Reflective Equilibrium. An Essay in Moral Epistemology. [REVIEW] Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 1 (1):129-132.
Jared Bates (2005). The Old Problem of Induction and the New Reflective Equilibrium. Dialectica 59 (3):347–356.
K. Kappel (2006). The Meta-Justification of Reflective Equilibrium. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 9 (2):131-147.
Siu L. Chow (1995). In Defense of Experimental Data in a Relativistic Milieu. Philosophical Explorations.
Thomas Kelly & Sarah McGrath (2010). Is Reflective Equilibrium Enough? Philosophical Perspectives 24 (1):325-359.
Carson Strong (2010). Theoretical and Practical Problems with Wide Reflective Equilibrium in Bioethics. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 31 (2):123-140.
Y. Michael Barilan & Margherita Brusa (2011). Triangular Reflective Equilibrium: A Conscience-Based Method for Bioethical Deliberation. Bioethics 25 (6):304-319.
Ben Eggleston (2010). Practical Equilibrium: A Way of Deciding What to Think About Morality. Mind 119 (475):549 - 584.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads195 ( #9,566 of 1,726,249 )
Recent downloads (6 months)18 ( #42,434 of 1,726,249 )
How can I increase my downloads?