The Underdetermination of Theories and Scientific Realism

The Underdetermination of Theories and Scientific Realism Axiomathes https://doi.org/10.1007/s10516-018-9384-4 ORIGINAL PAPER The Underdetermination of Theories and Scientific Realism Mario Alai Received: 20 January 2018 / Accepted: 20 May 2018 © Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018 Abstract The empirical underdetermination of theories is a philosophical problem which until the last century has not seriously troubled actual science. The reason is that confirmation does not depend only on empirical consequences, and theo - retical virtues allow to choose among empirically equivalent theories. Moreover, I argue that the theories selected in this way are not just pragmatically or aesthetically better, but more probably (and/or largely) true. At present in quantum mechanics not even theoretical virtues allow to choose among many competing theories and interpretations, but this is because none of them possess those virtues to a sufficient degree. However, first, we can hope for some future advancement (new empirical tests, or new theories). Second, even if no further progress came forth, all the most credited competitors agree on a substantial core of theoretical assumptions. There- fore underdetermination does not show that we cannot be realist on unobservable entities in general, but at most that in particular fields our inquiry may encounter some de facto limits. Keywords Empirical underdetermination · http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Axiomathes Springer Journals

The Underdetermination of Theories and Scientific Realism

Axiomathes , Volume OnlineFirst – May 28, 2018
Loading next page...
 
/lp/springer_journal/the-underdetermination-of-theories-and-scientific-realism-A6uATctG8u
Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 by Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature
Subject
Philosophy; Philosophy, general; Ontology; Linguistics, general; Cognitive Psychology; Logic
ISSN
1122-1151
eISSN
1572-8390
D.O.I.
10.1007/s10516-018-9384-4
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Axiomathes https://doi.org/10.1007/s10516-018-9384-4 ORIGINAL PAPER The Underdetermination of Theories and Scientific Realism Mario Alai Received: 20 January 2018 / Accepted: 20 May 2018 © Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018 Abstract The empirical underdetermination of theories is a philosophical problem which until the last century has not seriously troubled actual science. The reason is that confirmation does not depend only on empirical consequences, and theo - retical virtues allow to choose among empirically equivalent theories. Moreover, I argue that the theories selected in this way are not just pragmatically or aesthetically better, but more probably (and/or largely) true. At present in quantum mechanics not even theoretical virtues allow to choose among many competing theories and interpretations, but this is because none of them possess those virtues to a sufficient degree. However, first, we can hope for some future advancement (new empirical tests, or new theories). Second, even if no further progress came forth, all the most credited competitors agree on a substantial core of theoretical assumptions. There- fore underdetermination does not show that we cannot be realist on unobservable entities in general, but at most that in particular fields our inquiry may encounter some de facto limits. Keywords Empirical underdetermination ·

Journal

AxiomathesSpringer Journals

Published: May 28, 2018

References

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create lists to
organize your research

Export lists, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off