Synthese 191 (13):2891-2906 (2014)

Peter Vickers
Durham University
For several decades now philosophers have discussed apparent examples of internally inconsistent scientific theories. However, there is still much controversy over how exactly we should conceive of scientific theories in the first place. Here I argue for a new approach, whereby all of the truly important questions about inconsistency in science can be asked and answered without disagreements about theories and theory-content getting in the way. Three examples commonly described as ‘internally inconsistent theories’ are analysed in the light of this approach. In the process, the question ‘Is the theory inconsistent or not?’ is identified as a bad, or at least unimportant, question
Keywords Inconsistency  Scientific theory  Bohr  Kirchhoff  Classical electrodynamics  Eliminativism
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-014-0464-8
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References found in this work BETA

How the Laws of Physics Lie.Nancy Cartwright - 1983 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Understanding Inconsistent Science.Peter Vickers - 2013 - Oxford University Press.
How the Laws of Physics Lie.Malcolm R. Forster - 1985 - Philosophy of Science 52 (3):478-480.

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Citations of this work BETA

Historical Magic in Old Quantum Theory?Peter Vickers - 2012 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 2 (1):1-19.
Studying Controversies: Unification, Contradiction, Integration.Stefan Petkov - 2019 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 50 (1):103-128.
In Pursuit of the Non-Trivial.Colin R. Caret - 2021 - Episteme 18 (2):282-297.

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