David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
PhD Thesis (2003)
The underdetermination of theory by evidence is supposed to be a reason to rethink science. It is not. Many authors claim that underdetermination has momentous consequences for the status of scientific claims, but such claims are hidden in an umbra of obscurity and a penumbra of equivocation. So many various phenomena pass for `underdetermination' that it's tempting to think that it is no unified phenomenon at all, so I begin by providing a framework within which all these worries can be seen as species of one genus: A claim of underdetermination involves (at least implicitly) a set of rival theories, a standard of responsible judgment, and a scope of circumstances in which responsible choice between the rivals is impossible. Within this framework, I show that one variety of underdetermination motivated modern scepticism and thus is a familiar problem at the heart of epistemology. I survey arguments that infer from underdetermination to some reëvaluation of science: top-down arguments infer a priori from the ubiquity of underdetermination to some conclusion about science; bottom-up arguments infer from specific instances of underdetermination, to the claim that underdetermination is widespread, and then to some conclusion about science. The top-down arguments either fail to deliver underdetermination of any great significance or (as with modern scepticism) deliver some well-worn epistemic concern. The bottom-up arguments must rely on cases. I consider several promising cases and find them to either be so specialized that they cannot underwrite conclusions about science in general or not be underdetermined at all. Neither top-down nor bottom-up arguments can motivate any deep reconsideration of science.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
P. D. Magnus (2006). What's New About the New Induction? Synthese 148 (2):295 - 301.
Similar books and articles
P. D. Magnus (2005). Reckoning the Shape of Everything: Underdetermination and Cosmotopology. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 56 (3):541-557.
Peter Godfrey-Smith (2008). Recurrent Transient Underdetermination and the Glass Half Full. [REVIEW] Philosophical Studies 137 (1):141 - 148.
P. D. Magnus (2003). Underdetermination and the Problem of Identical Rivals. Philosophy of Science 70 (5):1256-1264.
P. Kyle Stanford (2001). Refusing the Devil's Bargain: What Kind of Underdetermination Should We Take Seriously? Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2001 (3):S1-.
Wolfgang Pietsch (2012). Defending Underdetermination or Why the Historical Perspective Makes a Difference. In Henk W. de Regt (ed.), Epsa Philosophy of Science: Amsterdam 2009. Springer. 303--313.
Ward E. Jones (2000). Underdetermination and the Explanation of Theory-Acceptance: A Response to Samir Okasha. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 14 (3):299 – 304.
Ian McDiarmid (2008). Underdetermination and Meaning Indeterminacy: What is the Difference? [REVIEW] Erkenntnis 69 (3):279 - 293.
Jochen Briesen (2010). Reconsidering Closure, Underdetermination, and Infallibilism. Grazer Philosophische Studien 80 (1):221-234.
Added to index2010-07-22
Total downloads15 ( #114,375 of 1,102,060 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #306,622 of 1,102,060 )
How can I increase my downloads?