The intelligibility objection against underdetermination

Abstract
One of the objections against the thesis of underdetermination of theories by observations is that it is unintelligible. Any two empirically equivalent theories — so the argument goes—are in principle intertranslatable, hence cannot count as rivals in any non-trivial sense. Against that objection, this paper shows that empirically equivalent theories may contain theoretical sentences that are not intertranslatable. Examples are drawn from a related discussion about incommensurability that shows that theoretical non-intertranslatability is possible.
Keywords Empirical equivalence  underdetermination  incommensurability  untranslatability
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DOI 10.5007/1808-1711.2012v16n1p121
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