Scientific realism, the atomic theory, and the catch-all hypothesis: Can we test fundamental theories against all serious alternatives?

Abstract
Sherri Roush ([2005]) and I ([2001], [2006]) have each argued independently that the most significant challenge to scientific realism arises from our inability to consider the full range of serious alternatives to a given hypothesis we seek to test, but we diverge significantly concerning the range of cases in which this problem becomes acute. Here I argue against Roush's further suggestion that the atomic hypothesis represents a case in which scientific ingenuity has enabled us to overcome the problem, showing how her general strategy is undermined by evidence I have already offered in support of what I have called the 'problem of unconceived alternatives'. I then go on to show why her strategy will not generally (if ever) allow us to formulate and test exhaustive spaces of hypotheses in cases of fundamental scientific theorizing
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/bjps/axp003
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: 28,126
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Refusing the Devil's Bargain: What Kind of Underdetermination Should We Take Seriously?P. Kyle Stanford - 2001 - Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2001 (3):S1-.
Piecemeal Realism.Arthur Fine - 1991 - Philosophical Studies 61 (1-2):79 - 96.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Inductions, Red Herrings, and the Best Explanation for the Mixed Record of Science.P. D. Magnus - 2010 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (4):803-819.
Re-Enchanting Realism in Debate with Kyle Stanford.Emma Ruttkamp-Bloem - 2013 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 44 (1):201-224.

View all 10 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Inductions, Red Herrings, and the Best Explanation for the Mixed Record of Science.P. D. Magnus - 2010 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (4):803-819.
Testing for Convergent Realism.Jerrold L. Aronson - 1989 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 40 (2):255-259.
Are Unconceived Alternatives a Problem for Scientific Realism?Michael Devitt - 2011 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 42 (2):285-293.
Darwin's Pangenesis and the Problem of Unconceived Alternatives.P. K. Stanford - 2006 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (1):121-144.

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-05-20

Total downloads

84 ( #62,381 of 2,171,803 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #326,702 of 2,171,803 )

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