David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Synthese 187 (2):673-692 (2012)
The Duhem-Quine Thesis is the claim that it is impossible to test a scientific hypothesis in isolation because any empirical test requires assuming the truth of one or more auxiliary hypotheses. This is taken by many philosophers, and is assumed here, to support the further thesis that theory choice is underdetermined by empirical evidence. This inquiry is focused strictly on the axiological commitments engendered in solutions to underdetermination, specifically those of Pierre Duhem and W. V. Quine. Duhem resolves underdetermination by appealing to a cluster of virtues called 'good sense', and it has recently been argued by Stump (Stud Hist Philos Biol Biomed Sei, 18(1):149-159,2007) that good sense is a form of virtue epistemology. This paper considers whether Quine, who's philosophy is heavily influenced by the very thesis that led Duhem to the virtues, is also led to a virtue epistemology in the face of underdetermination. Various sources of Quinian epistemic normativity are considered, and it is argued that, in conjunction with other normative commitments, Quine's sectarian solution to underdetermination amounts to a skills based virtue epistemology. The paper also sketches formal features of the novel form of virtue epistemology common to Duhem and Quine that challenges the adequacy of epistemic value truth-monism and blocks any imperialist naturalization of virtue epistemology, as the epistemic virtues are essential to the success of the sciences themselves
|Keywords||Underdetermination Virtue epistemology Epistemic value Quine Duhem Empirical Equivalence|
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References found in this work BETA
W. V. Quine (1960). Word and Object. The MIT Press.
W. V. Quine (1969). Ontological Relativity and Other Essays. Columbia University Press.
Linda Zagzebski (1996). Virtues of the Mind: An Inquiry Into the Nature of Virtue and the Ethical Foundations of Knowledge. Cambridge University Press.
W. V. Quine (1953/1980). From a Logical Point of View. Harvard University Press.
John Greco & John Turri (2011). Virtue Epistemology. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Citations of this work BETA
Matt Stichter (forthcoming). Practical Skills and Practical Wisdom in Virtue. Australasian Journal of Philosophy:1-14.
Abrol Fairweather (2012). The Epistemic Value of Good Sense. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 43 (1):139-146.
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Abrol Fairweather & Linda Zagzebski (eds.) (2001). Virtue Epistemology: Essays on Epistemic Virtue and Responsibility. Oxford University Press.
F. Weinert (1995). The Duhem-Quine Thesis Revisited. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 9 (2):147 – 156.
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Linda Zagzebski & Abrol Fairweather (eds.) (2000). Virtue Epistemology: Essays on Epistemic Virtue and Responsibility. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Gary Wedeking (1969). Duhem, Quine and Grünbaum on Falsification. Philosophy of Science 36 (4):375-380.
Robert Klee (1992). In Defense of the Quine-Duhem Thesis: A Reply to Greenwood. Philosophy of Science 59 (3):487-491.
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