Arguing Towards Truth: The Case of the Periodic Table [Book Review]

Argumentation 25 (2):185-197 (2011)
Recently Erik Scerri has published an influential philosophical history of the development of the Periodic Table. Following Scerri’s account, I will explore the main thread of the arguments responsible for the remarkable advancement of scientific understanding that the Periodic Table represents. I will argue that the history of disputation at crucial junctures in the debate shows sensitivity to the aspects of truth that are captured by my model of truth in inquiry. The availability of a clear and explicit model of truth in inquiry is of crucial importance as a response to post-modernist and other relativistic accounts of inquiry. It shows that despite such apparent sociological constraints as acceptability a robust theory of truth is available as a foundation for evaluating argumentation
Keywords Science  Periodic table  Truth  Formal model  Argumentation
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Eric R. Scerri (2005). On the Formalization of the Periodic Table. Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities 84 (1):191-210.
Eric Scerri & John Worrall (2001). Prediction and the Periodic Table. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 32 (3):407-452.

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