Four theses of underdetermination of theories by observational evidence: meanings, plausibilities and implications

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.5007/1808-1711.2020v24n2p299

Keywords:

Underdetermination;, scientific theories;, empirical equivalence;, translatability;, unconceived alternatives;, values

Abstract

This paper singles out and analyzes four theses of underdetermination of scien-tific theories by observational evidence, showing that each has its own meaning, plausibility,and implications. We show that the strongest theses are nothing but conjectures, whereasthe weaker ones are more plausible but do not carry with them robust philosophical conse-quences — such as scientific anti-realism — although they do provide evidence of systemat-ically unknown theoretical alternatives in science, as well as indirect evidence of the use ofvalue-laden criteria of theory choice.

Author Biographies

Guilherme Gräf Schüler, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul

Departamento de Filosofia - discente de graduação

Rogério P. Severo, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul

Departamento de Filosofia - doscente

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Published

2020-11-18

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