Manipulating underdetermination in scientific controversy: The case of the molecular clock

Perspectives on Science 15 (3):295-326 (2007)

Authors
Michael Dietrich
Dartmouth College
Robert Skipper
St. Mary's University, Texas
Abstract
: Where there are cases of underdetermination in scientific controversies, such as the case of the molecular clock, scientists may direct the course and terms of dispute by playing off the multidimensional framework of theory evaluation. This is because assessment strategies themselves are underdetermined. Within the framework of assessment, there are a variety of trade-offs between different strategies as well as shifting emphases as specific strategies are given more or less weight in assessment situations. When a strategy is underdetermined, scientists can change the dynamics of a controversy by making assessments using different combinations of evaluation strategies and/or weighting whatever strategies are in play in different ways. Following an underdetermination strategy does not end or resolve a scientific dispute. Consequently, manipulating underdetermination is a feature of controversy dynamics and not controversy closure
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DOI 10.1162/posc.2007.15.3.295
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References found in this work BETA

The Origins of the Neutral Theory of Molecular Evolution.Michael R. Dietrich - 1994 - Journal of the History of Biology 27 (1):21-59.
The Strengths of the Strong Programme.David Bloor - 1981 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 11 (2):199.

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