Lectures Watched
Since January 1, 2014
Hundreds of free, self-paced university courses available:
my recommendations here
Peruse my collection of 275
influential people of the past.
View My Class Notes via:
Receive My Class Notes via E-Mail:


Contact Me via E-Mail:
edward [at] tanguay.info
Notes on video lecture:
Duhem and Kuhn
Choose from these words to fill the blanks below:
Principa, incommensurable, underdetermination, phases, predecessor, find, deduce, truer, Revolutions, interpret, planets, compare, paradigm, weaker, physicists, rationality, progress, textbook, inductive, falsify, thinking, wrong, gravity, three, falsification, isolation, anomalies, community, image
before Karl Popper developed                            as a possible method of science
Pierre Duhem (1861-1916)
"No scientific hypothesis can ever be tested in                   , but only in conjunction with other main hypotheses and auxiliary hypotheses"
we don't test Newton's law of                by itself
           laws of motion
number of               
whether attraction between planets is              than the sun and the planets
we              a piece of evidence from these hypotheses
but often we can't          it
how should we then                    this negative result?
clearly something has gone            with one or more of the hypotheses
but we don't know which hypothesis it is
this is the                                      of theory by evidence
Thomas Kuhn
1962 book: "The Structure of Scientific                       "
changed our way of                  about science
began career as a                     , then went to history of science
science doesn't have a distinctive method whether                    or deductive
we need to rethink the notion of                  in science
changed image of science
we used to see science as building on and improving on                       
each on delivering a more accurate            of nature
Kuhn argued science goes through three             
1. normal science
scientists work within a scientific                 
scientists work on a specific text book, e.g. Newton's                 
all scientific activity arises from this                  tradition
in spite of what Popper said, in periods of normal science there is no attempt to                or refute scientific theory
occurs when a sufficient number of                    accumulate
paradigm shift
scientific                    shifts to new paradigm
new paradigm should be able to solve the anomalies that the old paradigm could not
paradigms are not            than another but are better than others in their capacity of solving problems
scientific revolutions
there was a shift from Popper falsification to Kuhn problem solving
had implications in the debate on the                        of theory choice
Kuhn argued that scientific paradigms are                               , they lack a common measure for rational choice
but we can                paradigms


######################### (1861-1916)
French physicist, mathematician, historian and philosopher of science best known for his writings on the indeterminacy of experimental criteria and on scientific development in the Middle Ages
  • he argued for holism in scientific experimentation in physics, namely that an experiment in physics is not simply an observation, but rather an interpretation of observations by means of a theoretical framework, no matter how well one constructs one's experiment, it is impossible to subject an isolated single hypothesis to an experimental test, instead, it is a whole interlocking group of hypotheses, background assumptions, and theories that is tested
  • also made major contributions to the science of his day, particularly in the fields of hydrodynamics, elasticity, and thermodynamics

Spelling Corrections:


Ideas and Concepts:

Via tonight's Philosophy and the Sciences class: "underdetermination, n. refers to situations where the evidence available is insufficient to identify which belief we should hold about that evidence. For example, if all that was known was that exactly $10 was spent on apples and oranges, and that apples cost $1 and oranges $2, then we would know enough to eliminate some possibilities (e.g. we know that 6 oranges could not have been purchased), but we would not have enough evidence to know which specific combination of apples and oranges was purchased. In this example, we would say that belief in what combination was purchased is underdetermined by the available evidence."
Epistemic Relativism, Scientific Realism, and Falsifiability
Duhem and Kuhn