Two dogmas of neo-empiricism: The "theory-informity" of observation and the Quine-Duhem thesis

Philosophy of Science 57 (4):553-574 (1990)
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Abstract

It is argued that neither the "theory-informity" of observations nor the Quine-Duhem thesis pose any in principle threat to the objectivity of theory evaluation. The employment of exploratory theories does not generate incommensurability, but on the contrary is responsible for the mensurability and commensurability of explanatory theories, since exploratory theories enable scientists to make observations which are critical in the evaluation of explanatory theories. The employment of exploratory theories and other auxiliary hypotheses does not enable a theory to always accommodate recalcitrant observations to preserve evidential equivalence with a rival theory. Explanatory theories become rapidly degenerating if exploratory theories or other auxiliary hypotheses which inform the original confirmation base are modified to accommodate recalcitrant observations

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Citations of this work

Science as Social Knowledge.Sharon L. Crasnow - 1992 - Hypatia 8 (3):194-201.
Ankersmit and historical representation.John Zammito - 2005 - History and Theory 44 (2):155–181.
Incommensurability reconsidered.Harold I. Brown - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 36 (1):149-169.
In defense of the Quine-Duhem thesis: A reply to Greenwood.Robert Klee - 1992 - Philosophy of Science 59 (3):487-491.
Wrong theory—Right experiment: The significance of the Stern-Gerlach experiments.Friedel Weinert - 1995 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 26 (1):75-86.

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