Graduate studies at Western
Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 40 (2):124-132 (2009)
|Abstract||General Relativity and the Standard Model often are touted as the most rigorously and extensively confirmed scientific hypotheses of all time. Nonetheless, these theories appear to have consequences that are inconsistent with evidence about phenomena for which, respectively, quantum effects and gravity matter. This paper suggests an explanation for why the theories are not disconfirmed by such evidence. The key to this explanation is an approach to scientific hypotheses that allows their actual content to differ from their apparent content. This approach does not appeal to ceteris-paribus qualifiers or counterfactuals or similarity relations. And it helps to explain why some highly idealized hypotheses are not treated in the way that a thoroughly refuted theory is treated but instead as hypotheses with limited domains of applicability.|
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