Indeterminacy, empirical evidence, and methodological pluralism

Synthese 86 (3):443 - 465 (1991)
Roth (1987) effectively distinguishes Quinean indeterminacy of translation from the more general underdetermination of theories by showing how indeterminacy follows directly from holism and the role of a shared environment in language learning. However, Roth is mistaken in three further consequences he draws from his interpretation of indeterminacy. Contra Roth, natural science and social science are not differentiated as offering theories about the shared environment and theories about meanings respectively; the role of the environment in language learning does not justify an empiricist sense of objective evidence; and his advocacy of methodological pluralism does not appropriately sustain the project of social scientific methodology in response to holism and indeterminacy.
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DOI 10.1007/BF00485270
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