Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 40 (2):227 - 258 (2009)
In this essay, I attempt to assess Henk de Regt and Dennis Dieks recent pragmatic and contextual account of scientific understanding on the basis of an important historical case-study: understanding in Newton’s theory of universal gravitation and Huygens’ reception of universal gravitation. It will be shown that de Regt and Dieks’ Criterion for the Intelligibility of a Theory (CIT), which stipulates that the appropriate combination of scientists’ skills and intelligibility-enhancing theoretical virtues is a condition for scientific understanding, is too strong. On the basis of this case-study, it will be shown that scientists can understand each others’ positions qualitatively and quantitatively, despite their endorsement of different worldviews and despite their convictions as what counts as a proper explanation.
|Keywords||KEPLERS LAWS PLANETARY MOTION Incommensurability Spherical vortex cosmology NEWTON PRINCIPIA Huygens Actio in distans Universal gravitation Scientific understanding H. de Regt D. Dieks Newton Theoretical virtues ISAAC EXPLANATION SENSE|
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References found in this work BETA
Explaining Science: A Cognitive Approach.Ronald N. Giere - 1988 - Philosophical Review 100 (4):653-656.
Scientific Explanation and the Sense of Understanding.J. D. Trout - 2002 - Philosophy of Science 69 (2):212-233.
Newton and the Reality of Force.Andrew Janiak - 2007 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 45 (1):127-147.
Paying the Price for a Theory of Explanation: De Regt's Discussion of Trout.J. D. Trout - 2005 - Philosophy of Science 72 (1):198-208.
Discussion Note: Making Sense of Understanding.Henk W. de Regt - 2004 - Philosophy of Science 71 (1):98-109.
Citations of this work BETA
Gravity and De Gravitatione: The Development of Newton's Ideas on Action at a Distance.John Henry - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 42 (1):11-27.
Newton's Substance Monism, Distant Action, and the Nature of Newton's Empiricism: Discussion of H. Kochiras “Gravity and Newton's Substance Counting Problem”.Eric Schliesser - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 42 (1):160-166.
Newton on Action at a Distance and the Cause of Gravity.Steffen Ducheyne - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 42 (1):154-159.
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