Journal Article

Epistemic Equivalence and Epistemic Incapacitation

Dana Tulodziecki

in The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science

Published on behalf of British Society for the Philosophy of Science

Volume 63, issue 2, pages 313-328
Published in print June 2012 | ISSN: 0007-0882
Published online September 2011 | e-ISSN: 1464-3537 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjps/axr032
Epistemic Equivalence and Epistemic Incapacitation

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One typical realist response to the argument from underdetermination of theories by evidence is an appeal to epistemic criteria besides the empirical evidence to argue that, while scientific theories might be empirically equivalent, they are not epistemically equivalent. In this article, I spell out a new and reformulated version of the underdetermination argument that takes such criteria into account. I explain the notion of epistemic equivalence which this new argument appeals to, and argue that epistemic equivalence can be achieved in several, significantly different, ways. On the basis of this ‘multiple realisability’ of epistemic equivalence, I then proceed to explain and examine some of the main consequences of this reformulated underdetermination argument for both realists and anti-realists.

1Introduction

2General Remarks

3Premise (2)

4The New Underdetermination Argument

5The Varieties of Epistemic Equivalence

6Consequences for Realists and Anti-realists

  6.1Consequences for realists

  6.2Consequences for anti-realists

  6.3Upshot

7Conclusion

Journal Article.  6705 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science ; Science and Mathematics

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