Theoretical Virtues in Science: Uncovering Reality through Theory

Cambridge University Press, 24. maj 2018 - 260 sider
What are the features of a good scientific theory? Samuel Schindler's book revisits this classical question in the philosophy of science and develops new answers to it. Theoretical virtues matter not only for choosing theories 'to work with', but also for what we are justified in believing: only if the theories we possess are good ones (qua virtues) can we be confident that our theories' claims about nature are actually correct. Recent debates have focussed rather narrowly on a theory's capacity to predict new phenomena successfully, but Schindler argues that the justification for this focus is thin. He discusses several other theory properties such as testability, accuracy, and consistency, and highlights the importance of simplicity and coherence. Using detailed historical case studies and careful philosophical analysis, Schindler challenges the received view of theoretical virtues and advances arguments for the view that science uncovers reality through theory.

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Theoretical Virtues Truth and the Argument from Simplicity
Pessimism Base Rates and the NoVirtueCoincidence
Novel Success and Predictivism
Theoretical Fertility without Novel Success
Ad Hoc Hypotheses and the Argument from Coherence
Virtues as Confidence Boosters and the Argument
Philosophy of Science by Historical Means

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Om forfatteren (2018)

Samuel Schindler is Associate Professor in the Centre for Science Studies at Aarhus University, Denmark. He has published his work in journals such as The British Journal in Philosophy of Science, Synthese, and Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science. He has received two major external grants from national research foundations in Germany and Denmark.

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