Earman on underdetermination and empirical indistinguishability

Erkenntnis 49 (3):303-320 (1998)
Earman (1993) distinguishes three notions of empirical indistinguishability and offers a rigorous framework to investigate how each of these notions relates to the problem of underdetermination of theory choice. He uses some of the results obtained in this framework to argue for a version of scientific anti- realism. In the present paper we first criticize Earman's arguments for that position. Secondly, we propose and motivate a modification of Earman's framework and establish several results concerning some of the notions of indistinguishability in this modified framework. Finally, we interpret these results in the light of the realism/anti- realism debate.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy   Epistemology   Ethics   Logic   Ontology
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DOI 10.1023/A:1005437217700
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