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Conventionalism about what? Where Duhem and Poincaré part ways

Ivanova, Milena (2015) Conventionalism about what? Where Duhem and Poincaré part ways. pp. 80-89.

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This paper examines whether, and in what contexts, Duhem’s and Poincaré’s views can be regarded as conventionalist or structural realist. After analysing the three different contexts in which conventionalism is attributed to them – in the context of the aim of science, the underdetermination problem and the epistemological status of certain principles – I show that neither Duhem’s nor Poincaré’s arguments can be regarded as conventionalist. I argue that Duhem and Poincaré offer different solutions to the problem of theory choice, differ in their stances towards scientific knowledge and the status of scientific principles, making their epistemological claims substantially different.

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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Keywords: Conventionalism, Structural Realism, Theory Choice, Underdetermination
Depositing User: Dr Milena Ivanova
Date Deposited: 11 Dec 2015 14:39
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2015 14:39
Item ID: 11807
Official URL:
DOI or Unique Handle:
Date: 2015
Page Range: pp. 80-89
Volume: 54

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