Error statistics and Duhem's problem

Philosophy of Science 67 (3):410-420 (2000)
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No one has a well developed solution to Duhem's problem, the problem of how experimental evidence warrants revision of our theories. Deborah Mayo proposes a solution to Duhem's problem in route to her more ambitious program of providing a philosophical account of inductive inference and experimental knowledge. This paper is a response to Mayo's Error Statistics (ES) program, paying particular attention to her response to Duhem's problem. It turns out that Mayo's purported solution to Duhem's problem is very significant to her project, for the epistemic license claimed by ES and the philosophical underpinnings to her account of experimental knowledge depend on this solution. By introducing the partition problem, I argue that ES fails to solve Duhem's problem and therefore fails to provide an adequate account of experimental knowledge



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Gregory Wheeler
Frankfurt School Of Finance And Management

References found in this work

La théorie physique: son objet et sa structure.P. Duhem - 1906 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 61:324-327.
The Duhem Thesis.Roger Ariew - 1984 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 35 (4):313-325.
The Duhemian Argument.Adolf Grünbaum - 1960 - Philosophy of Science 27 (1):75 - 87.
A Logic of Induction.Colin Howson - 1997 - Philosophy of Science 64 (2):268-290.

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