The scope, limits, and distinctiveness of the method of 'deduction from the phenomena': Some lessons from Newton's 'demonstrations' in optics
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 51 (1):45-80 (2000)
Having been neglected or maligned for most of this century, Newton's method of 'deduction from the phenomena' has recently attracted renewed attention and support. John Norton, for example, has argued that this method has been applied with notable success in a variety of cases in the history of physics and that this explains why the massive underdetermination of theory by evidence, seemingly entailed by hypothetico-deductive methods, is invisible to working physicists. This paper, through a detailed analysis of Newton's deduction of one particular 'proposition' in optics 'from the phenomena', gives a clearer account than hitherto of the method - highlighting the fact that it is really one of deduction from the phenomena plus 'background knowledge'. It argues, that, although the method has certain heuristic virtues, examination of its putative accreditational strengths reveals a range of important problems that its defenders have yet adequately to address.
|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
John Worrall (2011). Underdetermination, Realism and Empirical Equivalence. Synthese 180 (2):157 - 172.
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.
P. D. Magnus (2008). Demonstrative Induction and the Skeleton of Inference. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 22 (3):303 – 315.
John Worrall (2010). For Universal Rules, Against Induction. Philosophy of Science 77 (5):740-753.
Slobodan Perovic (2013). Emergence of Complementarity and the Baconian Roots of Niels Bohr's Method. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 44 (3):162-173.
Similar books and articles
Jon Dorling (1990). Reasoning From Phenomena: Lessons From Newton. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1990:197 - 208.
Melissa McBay Merritt (2006). Science and the Synthetic Method of the Critique of Pure Reason. Review of Metaphysics 59 (3):517-539.
Margaret Morrison (1992). Some Complexities of Experimental Evidence. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1992:49 - 62.
Athanassios Raftopoulos (1999). Newton's Experimental Proofs as Eliminative Reasoning. Erkenntnis 50 (1):91-121.
Howard Stein (1990). "From the Phenomena of Motions to the Forces of Nature": Hypothesis or Deduction? PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1990:209 - 222.
William Harper (2007). Newton's Methodology and Mercury's Perihelion Before and After Einstein. Philosophy of Science 74 (5):932-942.
Francis Jeffry Pelletier (1999). A Brief History of Natural Deduction. History and Philosophy of Logic 20 (1):1-31.
Vicente Aboites (2002). Some Remarks About Newton's Demonstrations in Optics: Newton's Missing Experiment. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 53 (3):455-458.
Brigitte Falkenburg (2011). What Are the Phenomena of Physics? Synthese 182 (1):149-163.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads16 ( #146,415 of 1,696,570 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #343,026 of 1,696,570 )
How can I increase my downloads?