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Underdetermination : An Essay on Evidence and the Limits of Natural Knowledge :  An Essay on Evidence and the Limits of Natural Knowledge - Thomas Bonk

Underdetermination : An Essay on Evidence and the Limits of Natural Knowledge

An Essay on Evidence and the Limits of Natural Knowledge

Hardcover

Published: March 2008
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"Underdetermination. An Essay on Evidence and the Limits of Natural Knowledge is a wide-ranging study of the thesis that scientific theories are systematically "underdetermined" by the data they account for. This much-debated thesis is a thorn in the side of scientific realists and methodologists of science alike and of late has been vigorously attacked. After analyzing the epistemological and ontological aspects of the controversy in detail, and reviewing pertinent logical facts and selected scientific cases, Bonk carefully examines the merits of arguments for and against the thesis. Along the way, he investigates methodological proposals and recent theories of confirmation, which promise to discriminate among observationally equivalent theories on evidential grounds. He explores sympathetically but critically W. V. Quine and H. Putnam's arguments for the thesis, the relationship between indeterminacy and underdetermination, and possibilities for a conventionalist solution. This book is of interest to anyone working in philosophy of science, and to those interested in the philosophy of Quine."--BOOK JACKET.

From the reviews: "The essay makes a useful reading not only for advanced students of analytical philosophy but also for philosophically minded scientists. ... provides an impressively comprehensive coverage of an enduring philosophical conundrum. ... Bonk's knowledge of Quine's vast work is truly remarkable. ... also to be recommended to Quine fans ... . Summing up, the book has a lot to recommend it. ... it covers virtually everything that has ever been said about this topic. ... this is an excellent book to have on your shelf." (Sorin Bangu, Metascience, Vol. 20 (1), March, 2011) "Thomas Bonk offers an analysis of the problem of underdetermination of theories by empirical quantitative data (observation and experiments). ... Bonk offers in his book a very comprehensive and detailed analysis of UT. ... Bonk investigates UT and its various consequences using several distinctions and analytic devices. ... In general, Bonk's book is an important contribution in the domain of contemporary philosophy of science." (Jan Wolenski, Erkenntnis, Vol. 74, 2011)

A Humean Predicament?p. 1
Aspects of Underdeterminationp. 1
Significance of the Thesisp. 8
Quine, Realism, and Underdeterminationp. 21
No Quick Solutionsp. 28
Three Responses and Strategiesp. 38
Underdetermination Issues in the Exact Sciencesp. 45
Logical Equivalence, Interdefinability, and Isomorphismp. 45
Theorems of Ramsey and Craigp. 52
From Denotational Vagueness to Ontological Relativityp. 58
Semantic Argumentsp. 61
Physical Equivalencep. 68
Underdetermination of Geometryp. 82
Rationality, Method, and Evidencep. 89
Deductivism Revisitedp. 89
Quine on Method and Evidencep. 102
Instance Confirmation and Bootstrappingp. 112
Demonstrative Inductionp. 119
Underdetermination and Inter-theory Relationsp. 126
Competing Truthsp. 141
Constructivismp. 141
Things versus Numbersp. 147
Squares, Balls, Lines, and Pointsp. 161
Algorithmsp. 167
Problems of Representationp. 177
Ambiguityp. 177
Conventionalism: Localp. 180
Conventionalism: Globalp. 189
Verification and Fictionalismp. 196
Underdetermination and Indeterminacyp. 207
Underdetermination of Translationp. 207
Indeterminacy versus Underdeterminationp. 215
Empirical Investigations of Cognitive Meaningp. 230
Indeterminacy and the Absence of Factp. 238
Quine's Pragmatic Interpretation of Underdeterminationp. 252
Bibliographyp. 259
Indexp. 279
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781402068980
ISBN-10: 1402068980
Series: Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 297
Published: March 2008
Publisher: Springer-Verlag New York Inc.
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.5  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.63