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Adeel, M. Ashraf. Evolution of Quine’s Thinking on the Thesis of Underdetermination and Scott Soames’s Accusation of Paradoxicality
2015, HOPOS: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 5(1): 56-69.
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Added by: Laura Jimenez

Abstract: Scott Soames argues that interpreted in the light of Quine’s holistic verificationism, Quine’s thesis of underdetermination leads to a contradiction. It is contended here that if we pay proper attention to the evolution of Quine’s thinking on the subject, particularly his criterion of theory individuation, Quine’s thesis of underdetermination escapes Soames’ charge of paradoxicality.

Comment: Good as a secondary reading for those who are confident with Quine's thesis of underdetermination. Recomended for postgraduate courses in philosophy of science.

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Hesse, Mary. The Hunt for Scientific Reason
1980, PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1980: 3-22.
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Added by: Laura Jimenez

Abstract: The thesis of underdetermination of theory by evidence has led to an opposition between realism and relationism in philosophy of science. Various forms of the thesis are examined, and it is concluded that it is true in at least a weak form that brings realism into doubt. Realists therefore need, among other things, a theory of degrees of confirmation to support rational theory choice. Recent such theories due to Glymour and Friedman are examined, and it is argued that their criterion of “unification” for good theories is better formulated in Bayesian terms. Bayesian confirmation does, however, have consequences that tell against realism. It is concluded that the prospects are dim for scientific realism as usually understood.

Comment: Good article to study in depth the concepts of realism, underdetermination, confirmation and Bayesian theory. It will be most useful for postgraduate students in philosophy of science.

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Ivanova, Milena. Pierre Duhem’s Good Sense as a Guide to Theory Choice
2010, Studies in History and Philosophy of Science part A 41(1): 58-64.
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Added by: Laura Jimenez, Contributed by: Ivanova, Milena

Abstract: This paper examines Duhem’s concept of good sense as an attempt to support a non rule-governed account of rationality in theory choice. Faced with the underdetermination of theory by evidence thesis and the continuity thesis, Duhem tried to account for the ability of scientists to choose theories that continuously grow to a natural classification. The author examines the concept of good sense and the problems that stem from it. The paper presents a recent attempt by David Stump to link good sense to virtue epistemology. It is argued that even though this approach can be useful for the better comprehension of the concept of good sense, there are some substantial differences between virtue epistemologists and Duhem. The athor proposes a possible way to interpret the concept of good sense, which overcomes the noted problems and fits better with Duhem’s views on scientific method and motivation in developing the concept of good sense.

Comment: Interesting article that could serve as further reading in both epistemology courses and philosophy of science classes. Really good as an in-depth study of Duhem's views on scientific method. Recommendable for postgraduates or senior undergraduates.

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Massimi, Michela, John Peacock. What are dark matter and dark energy?
2014, in M. Massimi (ed.), Philosophy and the Sciences for Everyone. Routledge
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Added by: Laura Jimenez

Summary: According to the currently accepted model in cosmology, our universe is made up of 5% of ordinary matter, 25% cold dark matter, and 70% dark energy. But what kind of entities are dark matter and dark energy? This chapter asks what the evidence for these entities is and which rival theories are currently available. This provides with an opportunity to explore a well-known philosophical problem known as under-determination of theory by evidence.

Comment: This Chapter could serve as an introduction to contemporary cosmology and particle physics or as an example to illustrate the problem of under-determination of theory by evidence. The chapter looks at alternative theories that explain the same experimental evidence without recourse to the hypothesis of dark matter and dark energy and discusses the rationale for choosing between rival research programs. Like the rest of the chapters in this book, it is a reading recommendable for undergraduate students. It is recommended to read it after Chapter 2 of the same book.

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