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The Methodological Value of Coincidences: Further Remarks on Dark Matter and the Astrophysical Warrant for General Relativity

Vanderburgh, William L. (2004) The Methodological Value of Coincidences: Further Remarks on Dark Matter and the Astrophysical Warrant for General Relativity. In: [2004] Philosophy of Science Assoc. 19th Biennial Meeting - PSA2004: Contributed Papers (Austin, TX; 2004) > PSA 2004 Contributed Papers. (In Press)

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    Abstract

    This paper compares four techniques for measuring the masses of galaxies and larger astrophysical systems from their dynamics. The apparent agreement of these techniques is sometimes invoked as reason for hypothesizing the existence of huge quantities of “dark matter” as the best solution to “the dynamical discrepancy”, the 100-fold disparity between the amount of mass visible in large scale astrophysical systems and the amount calculated from dynamics. This paper argues that the agreement, though suggestive, is not definitive. The coincident measurements remain the best reason for preferring dark matter over revisions to General Relativity for solving the dynamical discrepancy, but the resulting warrant for this preference is weak.


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    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
    Keywords: Dark Matter, General Relativity, Evidence, Methodology, Theory Choice,
    Subjects: General Issues > Theory Change
    Specific Sciences > Physics > Cosmology
    Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
    Specific Sciences > Physics
    Conferences and Volumes: [2004] Philosophy of Science Assoc. 19th Biennial Meeting - PSA2004: Contributed Papers (Austin, TX; 2004) > PSA 2004 Contributed Papers
    Depositing User: William Vanderburgh
    Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2004
    Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 11:12
    Item ID: 1905
    Public Domain: No
    Conference Date: November 2004
    Conference Location: Austin, Texas
    URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/1905

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