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  1. Another Look at Empirical Equivalence and Underdetermination of Theory Choice.Pablo Acuña & Dennis Dieks - 2014 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 4 (2):153-180.
    In 1991 Larry Laudan and Jarret Leplin proposed a solution for the problem of empirical equivalence and the empirical underdetermination that is often thought to result from it. In this paper we argue that, even though Laudan and Leplin’s reasoning is essentially correct, their solution should be accurately assessed in order to appreciate its nature and scope. Indeed, Laudan and Leplin’s analysis does not succeed in completely removing the problem or, as they put it, in refuting the thesis of underdetermination (...)
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  2. Evolution of Quine’s Thinking on the Thesis of Underdetermination and Scott Soames’s Accusation of Paradoxicality.M. Ashraf Adeel - 2015 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 5 (1):56-69.
    Scott Soames argues that interpreted in the light of Quine's holistic verificationism, Quine's thesis of underdetermination leads to a contradiction. It is contended here that if we pay proper attention to the evolution of Quine's thinking on the subject, particularly his criterion of theory individuation, Quine's thesis of underdetermination escapes Soames' charge of paradoxicality.
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  3. How Biological Background Assumptions Influence Scientific Risk Evaluation of Stacked Genetically Modified Plants: An Analysis of Research Hypotheses and Argumentations.Fredrik Andersen & Elena Rocca - 2017 - Life Sciences, Society and Policy 13 (1):1-20.
    Scientific risk evaluations are constructed by specific evidence, value judgements and biological background assumptions. The latter are the framework-setting suppositions we apply in order to understand some new phenomenon. That background assumptions co-determine choice of methodology, data interpretation, and choice of relevant evidence is an uncontroversial claim in modern basic science. Furthermore, it is commonly accepted that, unless explicated, disagreements in background assumptions can lead to misunderstanding as well as miscommunication. Here, we extend the discussion on background assumptions from basic (...)
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  4. Podoby a kritika holizmu V metodológii vied.Eugen Andreanský - 2010 - Filozofia 65 (8).
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  5. Strong Underdetermination of Theories by Data: The Case of Different Mathematical Formulations of a Scientific Theory.Vincent Ardourel - unknown
  6. Objectivity. Polity Press, 2015. Introduction and T. Of Contents.Guy Axtell - 2015 - Polity; Wiley.
    “Objectivity” is an important theoretical concept with diverse applications in our collective practices of inquiry. It is also a concept attended in recent decades by vigorous debate, debate that includes but is not restricted to scientists and philosophers. The special authority of science as a source of knowledge of the natural and social world has been a matter of much controversy. In part because the authority of science is supposed to result from the objectivity of its methods and results, objectivity (...)
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  7. Bridging a Fault Line: On Underdetermination and the Ampliative Adequacy of Competing Theories.Guy Axtell - 2014 - In Editor Abrol Fairweather (ed.), Virtue Epistemology Naturalized. Synthese Library. pp. 227-245.
    This paper pursues Ernan McMullin‘s claim ("Virtues of a Good Theory" and related papers on theory-choice) that talk of theory virtues exposes a fault-line in philosophy of science separating "very different visions" of scientific theorizing. It argues that connections between theory virtues and virtue epistemology are substantive rather than ornamental, since both address underdetermination problems in science, helping us to understand the objectivity of theory choice and more specifically what I term the ampliative adequacy of scientific theories. The paper argues (...)
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  8. How to Undermine Underdetermination?Prasanta S. Bandyopadhyay, John G. Bennett & Megan D. Higgs - 2015 - Foundations of Science 20 (2):107-127.
    The underdetermination thesis poses a threat to rational choice of scientific theories. We discuss two arguments for the thesis. One draws its strength from deductivism together with the existence thesis, and the other is defended on the basis of the failure of a reliable inductive method. We adopt a partially subjective/objective pragmatic Bayesian epistemology of science framework, and reject both arguments for the thesis. Thus, in science we are able to reinstate rational choice called into question by the underdetermination thesis.
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  9. The Many Faces of Underdetermination.Sorin Bangu - 2011 - Metascience 20 (1):169-171.
  10. The Causal Chain Problem.Michael Baumgartner - 2008 - Erkenntnis 69 (2):201-226.
    This paper addresses a problem that arises when it comes to inferring deterministic causal chains from pertinent empirical data. It will be shown that to every deterministic chain there exists an empirically equivalent common cause structure. Thus, our overall conviction that deterministic chains are one of the most ubiquitous (macroscopic) causal structures is underdetermined by empirical data. It will be argued that even though the chain and its associated common cause model are empirically equivalent there exists an important asymmetry between (...)
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  11. Model Ambiguities in Configurational Comparative Research.Michael Baumgartner & Alrik Thiem - 2017 - Sociological Methods & Research 46:954-987.
    For many years, sociologists, political scientists, and management scholars have readily relied on Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) for the purpose of configurational causal modeling. However, this article reveals that a severe problem in the application of QCA has gone unnoticed so far: model ambiguities. These arise when multiple causal models fare equally well in accounting for configurational data. Mainly due to the uncritical import of an algorithm that is unsuitable for causal modeling, researchers have typically been unaware of the whole (...)
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  12. Why Semantic Unspecificity is Not Indexicality.Delia Belleri - 2014 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 10 (1):56-69.
    In this paper, I address the idea that certain sentences suffer from what is generally called semantic unspecificity: their meaning is determinate, but their truth conditions are not. While there tends to be agreement on the idea that semantic unspecificity differs from phenomena such as ambiguity and vagueness, some theorists have defended an account which traces it to indexicality, broadly construed. Some authors have tried to vindicate the distinction between unspecificity and indexicality and, in this paper, I pursue the same (...)
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  13. Objectivity and Bias.Gordon Belot - 2017 - Mind 126 (503):655-695.
    The twin goals of this essay are: to investigate a family of cases in which the goal of guaranteed convergence to the truth is beyond our reach; and to argue that each of three strands prominent in contemporary epistemological thought has undesirable consequences when confronted with the existence of such problems. Approaches that follow Reichenbach in taking guaranteed convergence to the truth to be the characteristic virtue of good methods face a vicious closure problem. Approaches on which there is a (...)
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  14. Underdetermination, Realism, and Theory Appraisal: An Epistemological Reflection on Quantum Mechanics. [REVIEW]Darrin W. Belousek - 2005 - Foundations of Physics 35 (4):669-695.
    This paper examines the epistemological significance of the present situation of underdetermination in quantum mechanics. After analyzing this underdetermination at three levels---formal, ontological, and methodological---the paper considers implications for a number of variants of the thesis of scientific realism in fundamental physics and reassesses Lakatos‘ characterization of progress in physical theory in light of the present situation. Next, this paper considers the implications of underdetermination for Weinberg’s ‘‘dream of a final theory.’’ Finally, the paper concludes by suggesting how one might (...)
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  15. Law and Science — Reflections.Hanina Ben-Menahem & Yemima Ben-Menahem - 1999 - Science in Context 12 (1):227.
    This paper construes various positions in the philosophy of science and the philosophy of law as responses to the problem of underdetermination in science and in law. We begin by drawing a close analogy between the successive approaches to this problem in the two fields. In particular, we stress the analogy between conventionalism as a philosophy of science and legal realism as a philosophy of law, and between Putnam's and Dworkin's critiques of these positions. We then challenge the Putnam-Dworkin strategy, (...)
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  16. Underdetermination of Physical Theory.Lars Bergström - 2004 - In Roger F. Gibson (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Quine. Cambridge University Press. pp. 91--114.
  17. Quine, Underdetermination, and Skepticism.Lars Bergström - 1993 - Journal of Philosophy 60 (7):331-358.
  18. Underdetermination and Realism.Lars Bergström - 1984 - Erkenntnis 21 (3):349 - 365.
  19. Underdetermination and Evidence.Alexander Bird - 2007 - In Bradley John Monton (ed.), Images of Empiricism: Essays on Science and Stances, with a Reply From Bas C. Van Fraassen. Oxford University Press.
    I present an argument that encapsulates the view that theory is underdetermined by evidence. I show that if we accept Williamson's equation of evidence and knowledge, then this argument is question-begging. I examine ways of defenders of underdetermination may avoid this criticism. I also relate this argument and my critique to van Fraassen's constructive empiricism.
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  20. Realism, Underdetermination, and a Causal Theory of Evidence.Richard N. Boyd - 1973 - Noûs 7 (1):1-12.
  21. Towards a Theory of Theoretical Objects.Gordon G. Brittan Jr - 1986 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1986:384 - 393.
    Traditional accounts stress certain features of theoretical objects such as their alleged imperceptibility, that are taken to raise epistemological difficulties. But these accounts do not show how theoretical objects, rightly understood, either differ in kind from more ordinary sorts of objects or make science possible. I sketch a new account that focuses on the underdetermination and similarity of theoretical objects, features closely connected to the explanatory roles they play, and construes them on an algebraic model.
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  22. Values in Science Beyond Underdetermination and Inductive Risk.Matthew J. Brown - 2013 - Philosophy of Science 80 (5):829-839.
    Proponents of the value ladenness of science rely primarily on arguments from underdetermination or inductive risk, which share the premise that we should only consider values where the evidence runs out or leaves uncertainty; they adopt a criterion of lexical priority of evidence over values. The motivation behind lexical priority is to avoid reaching conclusions on the basis of wishful thinking rather than good evidence. This is a real concern, however, that giving lexical priority to evidential considerations over values is (...)
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  23. Philosophy of Nature, Realism, and the Postulated Ontology of Scientific Theories.Grzegorz Bugajak - 2009 - In Adam Świeżyński (ed.), Philosophy of Nature Today, Wydawnictwo UKSW, Warszawa. pp. 59–80.
    The first part of the paper is a metatheoretical consideration of such philosophy of nature which allows for using scientific results in philosophical analyses. An epistemological 'judgment' of those results becomes a preliminary task of this discipline: this involves taking a position in the controversy between realistic and antirealistic accounts of science. It is shown that a philosopher of nature has to be a realist, if his task to build true ontology of reality is to be achieved. At the same (...)
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  24. Indispensability and Holism.Jacob Busch - 2011 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 42 (1):47-59.
    It is claimed that the indispensability argument for the existence of mathematical entities (IA) works in a way that allows a proponent of mathematical realism to remain agnostic with regard to how we establish that mathematical entities exist. This is supposed to be possible by virtue of the appeal to confirmational holism that enters into the formulation of IA. Holism about confirmation is supposed to be motivated in analogy with holism about falsification. I present an account of how holism about (...)
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  25. Underdetermination and Rational Choice of Theories.Jacob Busch - 2009 - Philosophia 37 (1):55-65.
    The underdetermination of theory by data argument (UD) is traditionally construed as an argument that tells us that we ought to favour an anti-realist position over a realist position. I argue that when UD is constructed as an argument saying that theory choice is to proceed between theories that are empirically equivalent and adequate to the phenomena up until now, the argument will not favour constructive empiricism over realism. A constructive empiricist cannot account for why scientists are reasonable in expecting (...)
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  26. No New Miracles, Same Old Tricks.Jacob Busch - 2008 - Theoria 74 (2):102-114.
    Abstract: Laudan (1984) distinguishes between two senses of success for scientific theories: (i) that a particular theory is successful, and (ii) that the methods for picking out approximately true theories are successful. These two senses of success are reflected in two different ways that the no miracles argument for scientific realism (NMA) may be set out. First, I set out a (traditional) version of NMA that considers the success of particular theories. I then consider a more recent formulation of NMA (...)
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  27. What You Don’T Know Can’T Hurt You: Realism and the Unconceived.Anjan Chakravartty - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 137 (1):149-158.
    Two of the most potent challenges faced by scientific realism are the underdetermination of theories by data, and the pessimistic induction based on theories previously held to be true, but subsequently acknowledged as false. Recently, Stanford (2006, Exceeding our grasp: Science, history, and the problem of unconceived alternatives. Oxford: Oxford University Press) has formulated what he calls the problem of unconceived alternatives: a version of the underdetermination thesis combined with a historical argument of the same form as the pessimistic induction. (...)
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  28. Realism and the Underdetermination of Theory.F. John Clendinnen - 1989 - Synthese 81 (1):63 - 90.
    The main theme is that theorizing serves empirical prediction. This is used as the core of a counter to contemporary anti-realist arguments. Different versions of the thesis that data underdetermines theory are identified and it is shown that none which are acceptable differentiates between theory selection and prediction. Criteria sufficient for the former are included amongst those necessary for the latter; and obviously go beyond mere compatibility with data.Special attention is given to causal process theories. It is argued that the (...)
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  29. A Humean Predicament?Robert S. Cohen, Jürgen Renn & Kostas Gavroglu - 2008 - Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science 261:1-44.
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  30. Underdetermination and Indeterminacy.Robert S. Cohen, Jürgen Renn & Kostas Gavroglu - 2008 - Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science 261:207-258.
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  31. Realism and Underdetermination: Some Clues From the Practices-Up.Alberto Cordero - 2001 - Philosophy of Science 68 (S3):S301-S312.
    Recent attempts to turn Standard Quantum Theory into a coherent representational system have improved markedly over previous offerings. Important questions about the nature of material systems remain open, however, as current theorizing effectively resolves into a multiplicity of incompatible statements about the nature of physical systems. Specifically, the most cogent proposals to date land in effective empirical equivalence, reviving old anti-realist fears about quantum physics. In this paper such fears are discussed and found unsound. It is argued that nothing of (...)
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  32. The Determination of Physical Theory.Thomas Virgil Cuda - 1990 - Dissertation, University of Southern California
    It is argued that the concept of observational equivalence can be made coherent, and that observationally equivalent theories can be theoretically incompatible. However, it is also argued that observationally equivalent, theoretically incompatible theories are difficult to generate in a way that leaves even a prima facie epistemological problem, for they will usually involve superfluous expansions. An account, involving a discussion of scientific realism, is given as to why superfluous expansions are not epistemolgically troublesome. Furthermore, a method is given that allows (...)
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  33. Delimiting the Unconceived.Richard Dawid - 2018 - Foundations of Physics 48 (5):492-506.
    It has been argued in Dawid that physicists at times generate substantial trust in an empirically unconfirmed theory based on observations that lie beyond the theory’s intended domain. A crucial role in the reconstruction of this argument of “non-empirical confirmation” is played by limitations to scientific underdetermination. The present paper discusses the question as to how generic the role of limitations to scientific underdetermination really is. It is argued that assessing such limitations is essential for generating trust in any theory’s (...)
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  34. Scientific Prediction and the Underdetermination of Scientific Theory Building.Richard Dawid - unknown
    According to the no miracles argument, scientific realism provides the only satisfactory explanation of the predictive success of science. It is argued in the present article that a different explanatory strategy, based on the posit of limitations to the underdetermination of scientific theory building by the available empirical data, offers a more convincing understanding of scientific success.
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  35. Contrast, Inference and Scientific Realism.Mark Day & George Botterill - 2008 - Synthese 160 (2):249-267.
    The thesis of underdetermination presents a major obstacle to the epistemological claims of scientific realism. That thesis is regularly assumed in the philosophy of science, but is puzzlingly at odds with the actual history of science, in which empirically adequate theories are thin on the ground. We propose to advance a case for scientific realism which concentrates on the process of scientific reasoning rather than its theoretical products. Developing an account of causal–explanatory inference will make it easier to resist the (...)
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  36. Realism and the Absence of Rivals.Finnur Dellsén - 2017 - Synthese 194 (7):2427-2446.
    Among the most serious challenges to scientific realism are arguments for the underdetermination of theory by evidence. This paper defends a version of scientific realism against what is perhaps the most influential recent argument of this sort, viz. Kyle Stanford’s New Induction over the History of Science. An essential part of the defense consists in a probabilistic analysis of the slogan “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”. On this basis it is argued that the likelihood of a theory (...)
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  37. Underdetermination and Realism.Michael Devitt - 2002 - Philosophical Issues 12 (1):26-50.
  38. The Light at the End of the Tunneling: Observation and Underdetermination.Michael Dickson - 1999 - Philosophy of Science 66 (3):58.
    If observation is 'theory-laden', how can there be 'observationally equivalent theories'? How can the observations 'laden' by one theory be 'the same as' those 'laden' by another? The answer might lie in the expressibility of observationally equivalent theories in a common mathematical formalism.
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  39. Earman on Underdetermination and Empirical Indistinguishability.Igor Douven & Leon Horsten - 1998 - Erkenntnis 49 (3):303-320.
    Earman (1993) distinguishes three notions of empirical indistinguishability and offers a rigorous framework to investigate how each of these notions relates to the problem of underdetermination of theory choice. He uses some of the results obtained in this framework to argue for a version of scientific anti- realism. In the present paper we first criticize Earman's arguments for that position. Secondly, we propose and motivate a modification of Earman's framework and establish several results concerning some of the notions of indistinguishability (...)
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  40. Underdetermination, Realism, and Reason.John Earman - 1993 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 18 (1):19-38.
  41. Traditional Literary Interpretation Versus Subversive Interpretation.Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    I present some objections to traditional literary interpretation and consider subversive interpretation as a solution to these problems. Subversive interpretation may be considered more scientific and more democratic than traditional interpretation, but it is open to doubt that it is more democratic.
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  42. Are Quine’s Two Indeterminacy Theses Compatible?Gábor Forrai - 1999 - Acta Analytica 14 (23.):89-99..
    The paper seeks to show that Quine’s theses concerning the underdetermination of scientific theories by experience and the indeterminacy of reference cannot be reconciled if some of Quine’s central assumptions are accepted. The argument is this. Quine holds that the thesis about reference is not just a special case of the other thesis. In order to make sense of this comment we must distinguish between factual and epistemic indeterminacy. Something is factual indeterminate if it is not determined by the facts. (...)
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  43. The Identical Rivals Response to Underdetermination.Greg Frost-Arnold & P. D. Magnus - 2009 - In P. D. Magnus Jacob Busch (ed.), New Waves in Philosophy of Science. Palgrave-Macmillan.
    The underdetermination of theory by data obtains when, inescapably, evidence is insufficient to allow scientists to decide responsibly between rival theories. One response to would-be underdetermination is to deny that the rival theories are distinct theories at all, insisting instead that they are just different formulations of the same underlying theory; we call this the identical rivals response. An argument adapted from John Norton suggests that the response is presumptively always appropriate, while another from Larry Laudan and Jarrett Leplin suggests (...)
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  44. Synopsis and Discussion. Workshop: Underdetermination in Science 21-22 March, 2009. Center for Philosophy of Science.Greg Frost-Arnold, J. Brian Pitts, John Norton, John Manchak, Dana Tulodziecki, P. D. Magnus, David Harker & Kyle Stanford - unknown
    This document collects discussion and commentary on issues raised in the workshop by its participants. Contributors are: Greg Frost-Arnold, David Harker, P. D. Magnus, John Manchak, John D. Norton, J. Brian Pitts, Kyle Stanford, Dana Tulodziecki.
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  45. Holism, Underdetermination, and the Dynamics of Empirical Theories.Ulrich Gähde - 2002 - Synthese 130 (1):69 - 90.
    The goal of this article is to show that the structuralist approachprovides a powerful framework for the analysis of certain holistic phenomena in empirical theories.We focus on two aspects of holism. The first refers to the involvement of comprehensive complexes of hypothesesin the theoretical treatment of systems regarded in isolation. By contrast, the second refers to thecorrelation between the theoretical descriptions of different systems. It is demonstrated how these two aspectscan be analysed by making use of the structuralist notion of (...)
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  46. Recurrent Transient Underdetermination and the Glass Half Full. [REVIEW]Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 137 (1):141 - 148.
    Kyle Stanford’s arguments against scientific realism are assessed, with a focus on the underdetermination of theory by evidence. I argue that discussions of underdetermination have neglected a possible symmetry which may ameliorate the situation.
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  47. The Perception‐Action Model: Counting Computational Mechanisms.Thor Grünbaum - 2017 - Mind and Language 32 (4):416-445.
    Milner and Goodale's Two Visual Systems Hypothesis is regarded as common ground in recent discussions of visual consciousness. A central part of TVSH is a functional model of vision and action. In this paper, I provide a brief overview of these current discussions and argue that there is ambiguity between a strong and a weak version of PAM. I argue that, given a standard way of individuating computational mechanisms, the available evidence cannot be used to distinguish between these versions. This (...)
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  48. A Closer Look at the Underdetermination Thesis and its Use in Debates Concerning Scientific Realism.Orit Gwirceman - 2003 - Dissertation, Rutgers the State University of New Jersey - New Brunswick
    The underdetermination thesis , the claim that every theory has a rival that is equally reasonable to believe given all the possible evidence, is central in the debate between Scientific Realists and Scientific Anti-Realists. We address central arguments on both sides and argue for the truth of a certain version of the thesis. ;Scientific Realists argue that UD is false because the class of facts relative to which the rivals are compared can change in unforeseeable ways because: the class of (...)
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  49. Judging Quality and Coordination in Biomarker Diagnostic Development.Spencer Phillips Hey - 2015 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 30 (2):207-227.
    What makes a high-quality biomarker experiment? The success of personalized medicine hinges on the answer to this question. In this paper, I argue that judgment about the quality of biomarker experiments is mediated by the problem of theoretical underdetermination. That is, the network of biological and pathophysiological theories motivating a biomarker experiment is sufficiently complicated that it often frustrates valid interpretation of the experimental results. Drawing on a case-study in biomarker diagnostic development from neurooncology, I argue that this problem of (...)
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  50. Epistemological Depth in a GM Crops Controversy.Daniel Hicks - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 50:1-12.
    This paper examines the scientific controversy over the yields of genetically modified [GM] crops as a case study in epistemologically deep disagreements. Appeals to “the evidence” are inadequate to resolve such disagreements; not because the interlocutors have radically different metaphysical views (as in cases of incommensurability), but instead because they assume rival epistemological frameworks and so have incompatible views about what kinds of research methods and claims count as evidence. Specifically, I show that, in the yield debate, proponents and opponents (...)
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