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
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.
Stephen G. Brush (1994). Dynamics of Theory Change: The Role of Predictions. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1994:133 - 145.
Gerald Doppelt (2005). Empirical Success or Explanatory Success: What Does Current Scientific Realism Need to Explain? Philosophy of Science 72 (5):1076-1087.
Michael R. Gardner (1982). Predicting Novel Facts. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 33 (1):1-15.
Citations of this work BETA
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.
Helge Kragh (2014). Testability and Epistemic Shifts in Modern Cosmology. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 46 (1):48-56.
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