In Walter Carnielli & Jacek Malinowski (eds.), Contradictions, from Consistency to Inconsistency. pp. 53-88 (2018)

Michele Friend
George Washington University
María del Rosario Martínez-Ordaz
Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
Most scientific theories are globally inconsistent. Chunk and Permeate is a method of rational reconstruction that can be used to separate, and identify, locally consistent chunks of reasoning or explanation. This then allows us to justify reasoning in a globally inconsistent theory. We extend chunk and permeate by adding a visually transparent way of guiding the individuation of chunks and deciding on what information permeates from one chunk to the next. The visual representation is in the form of bundle diagrams. We then extend the bundle diagrams to include not only reasoning in the presence of inconsistent information or reasoning in the logical sense of deriving a conclusion from premises, but more generally reasoning in the sense of trying to understand a phenomenon in science. This extends the use of the bundle diagrams in terms of the base space and the fibres. We then apply this to a case in physics, that of understanding binding energies in the nucleus of an atom using together inconsistent models: the liquid drop model and the shell model. We draw some philosophical conclusions concerning scientific reasoning, paraconsistent reasoning, the role of logic in science and the unity of science.
Keywords contradiction  chunk and permeate  inconsistent science  empirical sciences  inconsistency toleration
Categories (categorize this paper)
Buy the book Find it on
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 59,848
External links

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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Chunk and Permeate II: Bohr’s Hydrogen Atom.M. Bryson Brown & Graham Priest - 2015 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 5 (3):297-314.
An Analysis of Inconsistent and Incomplete Necker Cubes.Chris Mortensen - 2006 - Australasian Journal of Logic 4:216-225.
Scientific Reasoning or Damage Control: Alternative Proposals for Reasoning with Inconsistent Representations of the World.Joel M. Smith - 1988 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1988:241 - 248.
Chunk and Permeate: The Infinitesimals of Isaac Newton.David John Sweeney - 2014 - History and Philosophy of Logic 35 (1):1-23.
Inconsistency and Scientific Reasoning.Joel M. Smith - 1988 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 19 (4):429-445.
The Ontological Commitments of Inconsistent Theories.Mark Colyvan - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 141 (1):115 - 123.
Can Partial Structures Accommodate Inconsistent Science?Peter Vickers - 2009 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 13 (2):133-250.
Can Good Science Be Logically Inconsistent?Kevin Davey - 2014 - Synthese 191 (13):3009-3026.
Inconsistent Theories as Scientific Objectives.Dilip B. Madan - 1983 - Philosophy of Science 50 (3):453-470.


Added to PP index

Total views
17 ( #600,788 of 2,433,036 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #213,666 of 2,433,036 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes