What Is Duhem Holism Thesis

The connectives in a multi-valued logic, however, have a different meaning than those of classic logic.As for quantum logic, it is not even a logic based on truth values, so the logical connectives lose the original meaning of classic logic.Duhem believed that only in the field of physics can a single individual hypothesis not be isolated for testing.

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Therefore it is in principle impossible to conclusively determine if a theory is false by reference to evidence.

Karl Popper referred to the Duhem–Quine thesis in his The Logic of Scientific Discovery (1934), and argued that: falsification of a hypothesis is possible by avoiding ad hoc revisions, although the refutation of a theory is logically impossible as the thesis pointed out.

Following the Duhem–Quine thesis, Norwood Russell Hanson developed the concept of "theory-ladenness" of observation; observation does not constitute neutral, objective data, but a theory dependent interpreted knowledge.

Together with Thomas Kuhn's argument for the existence of the socio-historical dimension in scientific knowledge, the Duhem–Quine thesis made a significant contribution to the philosophy of science and theory of knowledge.

The hypothesis in question is by itself incapable of making predictions.

Instead, the consequences of the hypothesis typically rest on background assumptions from which to derive predictions.

Similarly, a theory consists of some indeterminate conjunction of hypotheses, In words, the failure of some theory implies the failure of at least one of its underlying hypotheses.

It is always possible to resurrect a falsified theory by claiming that only one of its underlying hypotheses is false; again, since there are an indeterminate number of such hypotheses, any theory can potentially be made compatible with any particular observation.

Thomas Kuhn cited the Duhem–Quine thesis as one of the reasons why paradigms are incommensurable.

In direct reference to the Duhem–Quine thesis, Larry Laudan argued that: indeterminary does not threaten the scientific rationality; although indeterminacy is logically possible and true, a rational choice is possible by maintaining a high degree of coherence and consistency.


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