Pierre Duhem's the aim and structure of physical theory: A book against conventionalism

Synthese 83 (3):385 - 400 (1990)
Abstract
I reject the widely held view that Duhem's 1906 book La Théorie physique is a statement of instrumentalistic conventionalism, motivated by the scientific crisis at the end of the nineteenth century. By considering Duhem's historical context I show that his epistemological views were already formed before the crisis occured; that he consistently supported general thermodynamics against the new atomism; and that he rejected the epistemological views of the latter's philosophical supporters. In particular I show that Duhem rejected Poincaré's account of scientific language, Le Roy's view that laws are definitions, and the conventionalist's use of simplicity as the criterion of theory choice. Duhem regarded most theory choices as decidable on empirical grounds, but made historical context the main determining factor in scientific change.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/BF00413423
Options
 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
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 27,178
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
The Aim and Structure of Physical Theory.Pierre Maurice Marie Duhem - 1954 - Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Le système du monde. Histoire des doctrines cosmologiques de Platon a Copernic.Pierre Duhem - 1916 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 82:489-493.

View all 7 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
The Complete Duhemian Underdetermination Argument: Scientific Language and Practice.Karen Merikangas Darling - 2002 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 33 (3):511-533.
Epistemology of a Believing Historian: Making Sense of Duhem's Anti-Atomism.Klodian Coko - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 50:71-82.
Pierre Duhem and the Inconsistency Between Instrumentalism and Natural Classification.Sonia Maria Dion - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (1):12-19.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Duhem on Maxwell: A Case-Study in the Interrelations of History of Science and Philosophy of Science.Roger Ariew & Peter Barker - 1986 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1986:145 - 156.
The Aim and Structure of Physical Theory.Pierre Maurice Marie Duhem - 1954 - Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Comment: Duhem's Middle Way.Ernan McMullin - 1990 - Synthese 83 (3):421 - 430.
Duhem's Physicalism.P. Needham - 1998 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 29 (1):33-62.

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

81 ( #64,087 of 2,163,866 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #188,913 of 2,163,866 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums