Being Charitable to Scientific Controversies: On the Demonstrativity of Newton's Experimentum crucis
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
The Monist 93 (4):640-656 (2010)
Current philosophical reflections on science have departed from mainstream history of science with respect to both methodology and conclusions. The article investigates how different approaches to reconstructing commitments can explain these differences and facilitate a mutual understanding and communication of these two perspectives on science. Translating the differences into problems pertaining to principles of charity, the paper offers a platform for clarification and resolution of the differences between the two perspectives. The outlined contextual approach occupies a middle ground between mainstream history and sociology of science, bracketing questions of rationality, and individual coherence-maximizing, rationality-centered approaches. It can satisfy those, who believe that science is an epistemically privileged endeavor, and its epistemic content should not be neglected when reconstructing the scientists’ positions. It can also satisfy those who hold that it is naive to believe that the immediate context, e.g. the challenges to a theory, the expectations of the author about his audience, etc., does not affect the position a scientist takes. Its theoretical considerations are exemplified with a close study of the debate following the 1672 publication of Newton's theory of light and colours, also offering a novel reading of the development of his methodological views concerning the demonstrativity of the famous crucial experiment. Although we only show the capacity of the framework to analyze a direct controversy, given that it is hard to think about any scientific text as detached from an argumentative context, this approach has the potential to be a general guide for interpretation.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
Tamás Demeter (2015). Before the Two Cultures: Merging the Canons of the History of Science and Philosophy. Metaphilosophy 46 (3):344-363.
Tamás Demeter (2014). Newton for Philosophers. Metascience 23 (2):249-253.
Similar books and articles
T. Shanahan (2001). Methodological and Contextual Factors in the Dawkins/Gould Dispute Over Evolutionary Progress. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 32 (1):127-151.
John Worrall (1990). Rationality, Sociology and the Symmetry Thesis. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 4 (3):305 – 319.
Peter K. Machamer, Marcello Pera & Aristeidēs Baltas (eds.) (2000). Scientific Controversies: Philosophical and Historical Perspectives. Oxford University Press.
Otavio Bueno & Newton da Costa (2007). Quasi-Truth, Paraconsistency, and the Foundations of Science. Synthese 154 (3):383 - 399.
Sven Dupré (2008). Newton's Telescope in Print: The Role of Images in the Reception of Newton's Instrument. Perspectives on Science 16 (4):pp. 328-359.
Maurizio Mamiani (2000). The Structure of a Scientific Controversy: Hooke Versus Newton About Colors. In Peter K. Machamer, Marcello Pera & Aristeidēs Baltas (eds.), Scientific Controversies: Philosophical and Historical Perspectives. Oxford University Press 143.
Gábor Á Zemplén & Tamás Demeter (2010). Being Charitable to Scientific Controversies. The Monist 93 (4):640-656.
Ronald Laymon (1978). Newton's Experimentum Crucis and the Logic of Idealization and Theory Refutation. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 9 (1):51-77.
James A. Marcum (2009). The Nature of Light and Color: Goethe's “der Versuch AlS Vermittler” Versus Newton's Experimentum Crucis. Perspectives on Science 17 (4):pp. 457-481.
Added to index2010-03-31
Total downloads56 ( #80,057 of 1,934,580 )
Recent downloads (6 months)7 ( #76,845 of 1,934,580 )
How can I increase my downloads?