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

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

byThomas Bonk

Book & Audio | April 8, 2008

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This timely book offers a wide-ranging study of the thesis that scientific theories are systematically "underdetermined" by the data they account for. After analyzing the epistemological and ontological aspects of the topic in detail, and reviewing pertinent logical facts and selected scientific cases, the author carefully examines the merits of arguments for and against the thesis. Along the way, he investigates methodological proposals and recent theories of confirmation.

Title:Underdetermination: An Essay on Evidence and the Limits of Natural KnowledgeFormat:Book & AudioDimensions:297 pagesPublished:April 8, 2008Publisher:Springer-Verlag/Sci-Tech/TradeLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1402068980

ISBN - 13:9781402068980

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Table of Contents

1 A Humean Predicament? 1.1. Aspects of Underdetermination 1.2. Significance of the Thesis 1.3. Quine, Realism, and Underdetermination 1.4. No quick solutions 1.5. Three responses and strategies 2 Underdetermination Issues in the Exact Sciences 2.1. Logical Equivalence, Interdefinability, and Isomorphism 2.2. Theorems of Ramsey and Craig 2.3. From Denotational Vagueness to Ontological Relativity 2.4. Semantic Arguments 2.5. Physical Equivalence 2.6. Underdetermination of Geometry 3 Rationality, Method, and Evidence 3.1. Deductivism Revisited 3.2. Quine on Method and Evidence 3.3. Instance Confirmation and Bootstrapping 3.4. Demonstrative Induction 3.5. Underdetermination and Inter-theory Relations 4 Competing Truths 4.1. Constructivism 4.2. Things versus Numbers 4.3. Squares, Balls, Lines, and Points 4.4. Algorithms 5 Problems of Representation 5.1. Ambiguity 5.2. Conventionalism: Local 5.3. Conventionalism: Global 5.4. Verificationism and Fictionalism 6 Underdetermination and Indeterminacy 6.1. Underdetermination of Translation 6.2. Indeterminacy versus Underdetermination 6.3. Empirical Investigation of Cognitive Meaning 6.4. Indeterminacy and the Absence of Fact 6.5. Quine's Pragmatic Interpretation of Underdetermination Bibliography Index

Editorial Reviews

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)