Theoretical terms and the principle of the benefit of doubt

The Principle of the Benefit of Doubt dictates that, whenever reasonably possible, we interpret earlier-day scientists as referring to entities posited by current science. Putnam has presented the principle as supplementary to his Causal Theory of Reference in order to make this theory generally applicable to theoretical terms. The present paper argues that the principle is of doubtful standing. In particular, it will be argued that the principle lacks a justification and, indeed, is unjustifiable as it stands.
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DOI 10.1080/02698590050045728
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References found in this work BETA
Saul Kripke (2010). Naming and Necessity. In Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel (eds.), Philosophy. Routledge 431-433.

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Citations of this work BETA
Christina McLeish (2005). Scientific Realism Bit by Bit: Part I. Kitcher on Reference. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 36 (4):668--686.
Igor Douven & Henk W. De Regt (2002). A Davidsonian Argument Against Incommensurability. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 16 (2):157 – 169.

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