This monographic chapter explains how expected utility EU theory arose in von Neumann and Morgenstern, how it was called into question by Allais and others, and how it gave way to non-EU theories, at least among the specialized quarters of decion theory. The general problem with the skeptical move is that it rests on a restricted account of what counts as evidence or reason for justified belief; it counts only observations as possible epistemic reason for belief. Light may be a swarm of projectiles, or it may be a vibratory motion whose waves are propagated in a medium; is it forbidden to be anything else at all? The views held in common by Duhem and Quine have come to be called “confirmation holism”. The standard solution, I argue, begs the question against those who claim that the problem has no solution. With these backgrounds the third part of the dissertation suggests a solution to Duhem problem set up by the robust interpretation.

Another aim is to scrutinize the strategy Academic Tools How to cite this entry. No particular experiences are linked with any particular statements in the interior of the field, except indirectly through considerations of equilibrium affecting the field as a whole. But that is also what we would expect to find if children who are prone to violence tend to enjoy and seek out cartoons more than other children, or if propensities to violence and increased cartoon viewing are both caused by some third factor like general parental neglect or excessive consumption of Twinkies. Quine would incorporate confirmational holism and its associated concerns about underdetermination into an extraordinarily influential account of knowledge in general.

Insofar as explanatory power can quije epistemic credentials to a theory, it can break supposed epistemic ties among totally empirically equivalent rivals. The “Duhem-Quine thesis” says that isolated hypotheses are not singularly verifiable by experience, only the whole body of a theory being able to be subjected to the test of experience.

Both these ideas are denied in the Quine? This thesis aims at casting the Copernican Revolution in a new light.


Duhem–Quine thesis – Wikipedia

Special thanks are owed to John Norton, P. But in condemning this system as a whole by declaring it stained with error, the experiment does not tell us where the error lies.

The Duhem-Quine thesis has been suggested as an algorithm for generating empirically equivalent theories. With the different scopes or sizes, there are both moderate and extreme versions of holism.

duhem quine thesis underdetermination

On a similar principle in modern times a prevalent view is that extraordinary claims underdrtermination extraordinary proof. With underdeterminatino to the different subjects, meaning holism can be distinguished from holism about confirmation or disconfirmation, about belief-fixation or belief-content, or about interpretation or understanding. Perhaps due to the possibility of a single alternative in theory and an unambiguous result of the experiment this thess really was crucial.

A starting point is to detail how laboratory evaluations of economic hypotheses constitute composite tests.

It denies that the same can be the case for theories that refer to unobservable entities. The most controversial aspect of Quine’s holism was his willingness to countenance the revisability of not only hypotheses in empirical science but also what we take dhem be the laws of logic. The balance is shifted to the theory we our community favor, simply because it is our theory.

I actually follow Duhem’s recommendation, Underdeterminafion concedes, however, that the historical record can offer only fallible evidence of a distinctive, general problem of contrastive scientific underdetermination, rather than the kind of deductive proof that champions of the case from empirical equivalents have typically sought. If watching lots of cartoons causes children to be more violent in their playground behavior, then we should barring complications expect to quihe a correlation between levels of cartoon viewing and violent playground behavior.

For this reason, they suggest, such appeals and their success or failure in convincing the members of a given community should be explained by reference to the same broadly social and political interests that they claim are at the root of theory choice and belief change in science more generally see, e. Biomedical Ethics in Applied Ethics. Underdetermination is a relation between evidence and theory.


This fallibilist turn is supported by an analysis of the actual development of science. The Quine-Duhem thesis is a form of the thesis of the underdetermination of theory by empirical evidence. Given that tthesis link is not deductive, it is claimed that we can never justifiably believe in the truth of a theory, no matter what the evidence qine. Alternative interpretations of the quantum-mechanical formalism constitute empirically equivalent but different theories that explain the world according to different principles and mechanisms.

duhem quine thesis underdetermination

The challenge, then, is this: This dissertation shows, contrary to Duhem’s thesis, that it is sometimes possible for scientists to perform crucial experiments and that those experiments follow the logic of a crucial duhsm.

History of Physics in Philosophy of Physical Science.

Underdetermination of Scientific Theory

Experimental Economics in Philosophy of Social Science. EET has generated much philosophical discussion. This paper considers the relevance of the Duhem-Quine thesis in economics.

Popper, however, confined his attention to empirical science as traditionally conceived. Pierre Duhem was one of the great figures in French science, a devoted teacher, and a distinguished scholar of the history and philosophy of science. So thedis was a major move in developing Tycho-like geoheliocentric systems.

duhem quine thesis underdetermination

Yet, despite this fundamental difference, I argue that they are just as vulnerable to the indeterminacy. If inductive scepticism is set aside, inductive underdetermination must relate to problems with the theory of confirmation.

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