Psillos, Stathis (2005), 'Underdetermination thesis, Duhem-Quine thesis
', in Donald Borchert (ed.), Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Vol 9, 2nd edition, Detroit: Macmillan, pp.
Rather than deploying the Duhem-Quine thesis
for his criticism of Popper's antiinductivism, however, Grunbaum argues that it is untenable when taken nontrivially.
Van den Brink's account of the ferment in the 1970s rightly gives attention to recognition of the "theory-ladenness" of data, and the shift from foundationalism to holism, first postulated as the Duhem-Quine thesis
that theories never confront experimental results alone, but only as a network of theories and assumptions.
Essays on the Duhem-Quine Thesis
. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.
He examines the origins of the Fisherian and Pearsonian statistical methodologies, the links between positivism and quantitative research, the logic behind abduction, deduction and reduction, the philosophy of mathematics as it relates to quantitative research, philosophical issues of factor analysis, causal inference and the Duhem-Quine thesis
, the causal Markov condition, faithfulness assumption and virtual intervention, closing with a lively treatment of evolutionary game theory.
It rests on the Duhem-Quine thesis
. Both Duhem (1905) and Quine (1953) pointed out that scientific theories are complex structures and, at most, a falsification shows that there is a fault somewhere within the set of premises from which the observation was deduced.
The epistemological reason is the Duhem-Quine thesis
that scientific theories are underdetermined by the evidence because more than one theory fits any given set of evidence.
Part II closes with Gillies' own version of the Duhem-Quine thesis
: (i) the holistic thesis applies to level-2 theoretical hypotheses in all sciences (pace Duhem), (ii) its unit of significance is smaller than the whole of science (pace Quine), and (iii) 'scientific good sense' would in many situations overrule the logical possibility of making adjustments elsewhere (p.
Only if one adds that the meaning of a theoretical sentence is to be identified with its empirical consequences does the Duhem-Quine thesis
lead to strange consequences, but there is no reason to make such an identification; it would indeed amount to a very crude meaning theory.
The second criticism is based on the Duhem-Quine thesis
that, due to the complexity of scientific theories the best we can get from an apparent falsification is the knowledge that somewhere in that complex system something is wrong, but we cannot specify which hypothesis is responsible.
It will immediately be recognized that this defense of relativity is an example of the Duhem-Quine thesis