David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Kyle Stanford (2006) argues that the most serious and powerful challenge to scientific realism has been neglected. The problem of unconceived alternatives (PUA), as he calls it, holds that throughout history scientists have failed to conceive alternative theories roughly equally wellconfirmed (by the available evidence) to the theories of the day and, crucially, that such alternatives eventually were conceived and adopted by some section of the scientific community. PUA is a version of the argument from the underdetermination of theories by evidence (UTE) but departs from it in two significant ways: (i) there is a shift from artificially produced rival theories - of the kind typically talked about in the underdetermination debate - to actual rivals and (ii) there is a shift from empirically equivalent rivals to rivals that are equally well-confirmed by the available evidence at a given point in time. In this talk I will argue that by these shifts Stanford successfully manages to find more historical evidence for PUA (than do proponents of UTE), but only at the expense of making his thesis ineffectual.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||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
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
David Harker (2008). P. Kyle Stanford:Exceeding Our Grasp: Science, History, and the Problem of Unconceived Alternatives,:Exceeding Our Grasp: Science, History, and the Problem of Unconceived Alternatives. Philosophy of Science 75 (2):251-253.
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-.
P. Kyle Stanford (2009). Scientific Realism, the Atomic Theory, and the Catch-All Hypothesis: Can We Test Fundamental Theories Against All Serious Alternatives? British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (2):253-269.
Michael Devitt (2011). Are Unconceived Alternatives a Problem for Scientific Realism? Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 42 (2):285-293.
Anjan Chakravartty (2008). What You Don't Know Can't Hurt You: Realism and the Unconceived. [REVIEW] Philosophical Studies 137 (1):149 - 158.
P. Kyle Stanford (2006). Exceeding Our Grasp: Science, History, and the Problem of Unconceived Alternatives. Oxford University Press.
P. Kyle Stanford (2006). Francis Galton's Theory of Inheritance and the Problem of Unconceived Alternatives. Biology and Philosophy 21 (4):523-536.
P. K. Stanford (2006). Darwin's Pangenesis and the Problem of Unconceived Alternatives. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (1):121-144.
Added to index2009-12-28
Total downloads84 ( #48,319 of 1,792,080 )
Recent downloads (6 months)11 ( #73,240 of 1,792,080 )
How can I increase my downloads?