Duhem and Cartwright on the truth of laws

Synthese 89 (1):89 - 109 (1991)
Nancy Cartwright has drawn attention to how explanations are actually given in mathematical sciences. She argues that these procedures support an antirealist thesis that fundamental explanatory laws are not true. Moreover, she claims to be be essentially following Duhem's line of thought in developing this thesis. Without wishing to detract from the importance of her observations, it is suggested that they do not necessarily require the antirealist thesis. The antirealist interpretation of Duhem is also disputed. It is argued that Duhemian points, often understood antirealistically, bear a realist construal, and that antirealist interpretations of Duhem typically run into problems of consistency or of reducing his position to absurdity.
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DOI 10.1007/BF00413801
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References found in this work BETA
How the Laws of Physics Lie.Nancy Cartwright - 1983 - Oxford University Press.
Thought.Gilbert Harman - 1973 - Princeton University Press.
From a Logical Point of View.W. V. Quine - 1953 - Harvard University Press.
The Aim and Structure of Physical Theory.Pierre Maurice Marie Duhem - 1954 - Princeton: Princeton University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA
Rehabilitating Theory: Refusal of the 'Bottom-Up' Construction of Scientific Phenomena.Samuel Schindler - 2007 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 38 (1):160-184.
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.

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