Conventionalism about what? Where Duhem and Poincaré part ways

Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 54:80-89 (2015)
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Abstract

This paper examines whether, and in what contexts, Duhem’s and Poincaré’s views can be regarded as conventionalist or structural realist. After analysing the three different contexts in which conventionalism is attributed to them – in the context of the aim of science, the underdetermination problem and the epistemological status of certain principles – I show that neither Duhem’s nor Poincaré’s arguments can be regarded as conventionalist. I argue that Duhem and Poincaré offer different solutions to the problem of theory choice, differ in their stances towards scientific knowledge and the status of scientific principles, making their epistemological claims substantially different

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Milena Ivanova
Cambridge University

Citations of this work

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The epistemology of spacetime.Neil Dewar, Niels Linnemann & James Read - 2022 - Philosophy Compass 17 (4):e12821.
Pierre Duhem.Roger Ariew - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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References found in this work

Two Dogmas of Empiricism.Willard V. O. Quine - 1951 - Philosophical Review 60 (1):20–43.
A confutation of convergent realism.Larry Laudan - 1981 - Philosophy of Science 48 (1):19-49.
The Logic of Scientific Discovery.K. Popper - 1959 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 10 (37):55-57.

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