Theory Assessment and Final Theory Claim in String Theory

Foundations of Physics 43 (1):81-100 (2013)

Authors
Richard Dawid
Stockholm University
Abstract
String theory has by now maintained a highly influential position in high energy physics for more than a quarter of a century. The present article analyses the reasons for the considerable trust exponents of string theory have in their theory even though it has neither found empirical confirmation nor a complete formulation up to this point. It is argued that this trust can be understood in terms of an emerging new conception of theory assessment that relies strongly on the identification of limitations to the underdetermination of scientific theory building. The second part of the paper makes the point that another conspicuous element of string theoretical reasoning, the prominent role of the notion of a final theory, can be understood in terms of this altered notion of theory assessment as well.
Keywords String theory  Underdetermination  Final theory claim
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DOI 10.1007/s10701-011-9592-x
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References found in this work BETA

Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge.Imre Lakatos & Alan Musgrave (eds.) - 1970 - Cambridge University Press.
Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge.Imre Lakatos, Alan Musgrave, Roger C. Buck & Robert S. Cohen - 1972 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 23 (3):266-274.

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Citations of this work BETA

Relativities of Fundamentality.Kerry McKenzie - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 59:89-99.
The Role of Heuristic Appraisal in Conflicting Assessments of String Theory.Kristian Camilleri & Sophie Ritson - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 51:44-56.

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