David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 39 (2):265-269 (2008)
In this paper I comment on a recent paper by [Scerri, E., & Worrall, J. . Prediction and the periodic table. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 32, 407–452.] about the role temporally novel and use-novel predictions played in the acceptance of Mendeleev’s periodic table after the proposal of the latter in 1869. Scerri and Worrall allege that whereas temporally novel predictions—despite Brush’s earlier claim to the contrary—did not carry any special epistemic weight, use-novel predictions did indeed contribute to the acceptance of the table. Although I agree with their first claim, I disagree with their second. In order to spell out my disagreement, I not only revisit Scerri and Worrall’s interpretation of crucial historical evidence they have cited in support of the ‘heuristic account’ of use-novel predictions, but I also criticise the latter on general grounds.Keywords: Periodic table; Dmitri Mendeleev; Noble gases; Use-novel predictions; Heuristic account; Ad hoc hypotheses
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References found in this work BETA
Elie Zahar (1973). Why Did Einstein's Programme Supersede Lorentz's? (I). British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 24 (2):95-123.
Eric Scerri & John Worrall (2001). Prediction and the Periodic Table. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 32 (3):407-452.
Deborah G. Mayo (1991). Novel Evidence and Severe Tests. Philosophy of Science 58 (4):523-552.
Elie Zahar (1973). Why Did Einstein's Programme Supersede Lorentz's? (II). British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 24 (3):223-262.
Stephen Brush (1996). The Reception of Mendeleev's Periodic Law in America and Britain. Isis: A Journal of the History of Science 87:595-628.
Citations of this work BETA
Helge Kragh (2014). Testability and Epistemic Shifts in Modern Cosmology. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 46 (1):48-56.
Samuel Schindler (2008). Model, Theory, and Evidence in the Discovery of the DNA Structure. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 59 (4):619-658.
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