Problems with formal models of epistemic entrenchment as applied to scientific theories

Synthese 122 (3):313 - 320 (2000)
Formal models of theory contraction entered the philosophicalliterature with the prototype model by Alchourrón, Gärdenfors,and Makinson (Alchourrón et al. 1985). One influential modelinvolves theory contraction with respect to a relation calledepistemic entrenchment which orders the propositions of a theoryaccording to their relative degrees of theoretical importance.Various postulates have been suggested for characterizingepistemic entrenchment formally. I argue here that threesuggested postulates produce inappropriately bizarre results whenapplied to scientific theories. I argue that the postulates callednoncovering, continuing up, and continuing down, implyrespectively that, (i) no scientific law is more epistemicallyentrenched than any of its instances, (ii) two distinct instances ofthe same scientific law must have different degrees of epistemicentrenchment, and (iii) any two scientific laws must have differentdegrees of epistemic entrenchment. I also argue that continuingup and continuing down each lead to incoherency.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy   Epistemology   Logic   Metaphysics   Philosophy of Language
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,392
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

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

34 ( #141,333 of 1,924,703 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

17 ( #36,340 of 1,924,703 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.