David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Canadian Journal of Philosophy 35 (2):331-352 (2005)
This paper argues that conceptual factors are as important as empirical factors in theory acceptance. Coherence between a new theory that is assessed for acceptance and the existing (established) theories in the same domain is among such conceptual factors. For example, a new theory about spectroscopy that does not cohere with established theories of spectroscopy is unlikely to be accepted, even if it was supported by empirical considerations. It is argued that a new theory coheres with a group of established theories when it shares important elements with these theories and contains no items that conflict with their central concepts and assumptions.
|Keywords||coherence, intertheoretic coherence, consistency, clusters of theories.|
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