Pierre Duhem's good sense as a guide to theory choice

Abstract
This paper examines Duhem’s concept of good sense as an attempt to support a non rule-governed account of rationality in theory choice. Faced with the underdetermination of theory by evidence thesis and the continuity thesis, Duhem tried to account for the ability of scientists to choose theories that continuously grow to a natural classification. I will examine the concept of good sense and the problems that stem from it. I will also present a recent attempt by David Stump to link good sense to virtue epistemology. I will argue that even though this approach can be useful for the better comprehension of the concept of good sense, there are some substantial differences between virtue epistemologists and Duhem. In the light of this reconstruction of good sense, I will propose a possible way to interpret the concept of good sense, which overcomes the noted problems and fits better with Duhem’s views on scientific method and motivation in developing the concept of good sense.
Keywords Good sense  Novel predictions  Theoretical virtues  Unification  Virtue epistemology  Natural classification
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    References found in this work BETA
    Richard Fumerton (1994). Sosa's Epistemology. Philosophical Issues 5:15-27.
    John Greco & John Turri (2011). Virtue Epistemology. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

    View all 10 references

    Citations of this work BETA
    Abrol Fairweather (2012). The Epistemic Value of Good Sense. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 43 (1):139-146.
    James Ladyman (2012). Science, Metaphysics and Method. Philosophical Studies 160 (1):31-51.

    View all 8 citations

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