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Duhem Before Breakfast

Wilson, Mark (2007) Duhem Before Breakfast. [Preprint]

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Abstract

This essay traces some of Pierre Duhem's motives for his celebrated "Quine- Duhem thesis" to a specific worry about theory underdetermination that arises within classical mechanics, concerned with the rivalry between Duhem's own thermomechanical approach and the more narrowly "mechanical" treatment pursued by Hertz and others. In the context of the treatments of "physical infinitesimals" common at the time, these two approaches seem empirically indistinguishable. After an exposition of the basic issues, this alleged "underdetermination" is then evaluated from a more modern perspective.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Wilson, Mark
Keywords: Quine-Duhem thesis, undeterdetermination of theory, idealization, infinitesimals, classical physics
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
Depositing User: mark wilson
Date Deposited: 05 Jun 2007
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 15:15
Item ID: 3373
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/3373

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