David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Synthese 78 (1):1 - 24 (1989)
This paper is a critique of a project, outlined by Laudan et al. (1986) recently in this journal, for empirically testing philosophical models of change in science by comparing them against the historical record of actual scientific practice. While the basic idea of testing such models of change in the arena of science is itself an appealing one, serious questions can be raised about the suitability of seeking confirmation or disconfirmation for large numbers of specific theses drawn from a massive list of claims abstracted from the writings of a few philosophers of science. The present paper discusses what one might reasonably expect from a model of change in science and then compares some clusters of theses from Laudan et al. with developments in recent theoretical physics. The results suggest that such straightforward testing of theses may be largely inconclusive.
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References found in this work BETA
James T. Cushing (1985). Is There Just One Possible World? Contingency Vs the Bootstrap. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 16 (1):31-48.
James T. Cushing (1982). Models and Methodologies in Current Theoretical High-Energy Physics. Synthese 50 (1):5 - 101.
Arthur Fine (1986). Unnatural Attitudes: Realist and Instrumentalist Attachments to Science. Mind 95 (378):149-179.
Philipp Frank (1957/2004). Philosophy of Science: The Link Between Science and Philosophy. Dover Publications.
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