The scope, limits, and distinctiveness of the method of 'deduction from the phenomena': Some lessons from Newton's 'demonstrations' in optics


Authors
Abstract
Having been neglected or maligned for most of this century, Newton's method of 'deduction from the phenomena' has recently attracted renewed attention and support. John Norton, for example, has argued that this method has been applied with notable success in a variety of cases in the history of physics and that this explains why the massive underdetermination of theory by evidence, seemingly entailed by hypothetico-deductive methods, is invisible to working physicists. This paper, through a detailed analysis of Newton's deduction of one particular 'proposition' in optics 'from the phenomena', gives a clearer account than hitherto of the method - highlighting the fact that it is really one of deduction from the phenomena plus 'background knowledge'. It argues, that, although the method has certain heuristic virtues, examination of its putative accreditational strengths reveals a range of important problems that its defenders have yet adequately to address
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/bjps/51.1.45
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 46,405
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Scientific Image.Michael Friedman - 1982 - Journal of Philosophy 79 (5):274-283.
The Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes: Philosophical Papers.Imre Lakatos, John Worrall & Gregory Currie - 1979 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 30 (4):381-402.

View all 13 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Demonstrative Induction and the Skeleton of Inference.P. D. Magnus - 2008 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 22 (3):303-315.
For Universal Rules, Against Induction.John Worrall - 2010 - Philosophy of Science 77 (5):740-753.

View all 14 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Reasoning From Phenomena: Lessons From Newton.Jon Dorling - 1990 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1990:197 - 208.
Some Remarks About Newton's Demonstrations in Optics: Newton's Missing Experiment.Vicente Aboites - 2002 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 53 (3):455-458.
A Brief History of Natural Deduction.Francis Jeffry Pelletier - 1999 - History and Philosophy of Logic 20 (1):1-31.
"From the Phenomena of Motions to the Forces of Nature": Hypothesis or Deduction?Howard Stein - 1990 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1990:209 - 222.
Some Complexities of Experimental Evidence.Margaret Morrison - 1992 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1992:49 - 62.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
59 ( #149,410 of 2,286,206 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
8 ( #127,895 of 2,286,206 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature