Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-5d6d958fb5-mt5cb Total loading time: 0.214 Render date: 2022-11-27T10:33:12.743Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "displayNetworkTab": true, "displayNetworkMapGraph": false, "useSa": true } hasContentIssue true

Stanford’s Unconceived Alternatives from the Perspective of Epistemic Obligations

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2022

Abstract

Kyle Stanford’s reformulation of the problem of underdetermination has the potential to highlight the epistemic obligations of scientists. Stanford, however, presents the phenomenon of unconceived alternatives as a problem for realists, despite critics’ insistence that we have contextual explanations for scientists’ failure to conceive of their successors’ theories. I propose that responsibilist epistemology and the concept of “role oughts,” as discussed by Lorraine Code and Richard Feldman, can pacify Stanford’s critics and reveal broader relevance of the “new induction.” The possibility of unconceived alternatives pushes us to question our contemporary expectation for scientists to reason outside of their historical moment.

Type
Realism
Copyright
Copyright © The Philosophy of Science Association

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Code, Lorraine. 1987. Epistemic Responsibility. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England.Google Scholar
Fausto-Sterling, Anne. 1992. Myths of Gender: Biological Theories about Women and Men. New York: Basic.Google Scholar
Feldman, Richard. 2000. “The Ethics of Belief.” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 60 (3): 667–95.10.2307/2653823CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kukla, Andrè. 1996. “Does Every Theory Have Empirically Equivalent Rivals?Erkenntnis 44 (2): 137–66.10.1007/BF00166499CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Magnus, P. D. 2006. “What’s New about the New Induction?Synthese 148 (2): 295301.10.1007/s11229-004-6223-5CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Norton, J. D. 2008. “Must Evidence Underdetermine Theory?” In The Challenge of the Social and the Pressure of Practice: Science and Values Revisited, ed. Howard, D., Carrier, M., and Kourany, J., 1744. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press.10.2307/j.ctt9qh7nh.5CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Saatsi, Juha. 2009. “Grasping at Realist Straws: Review Symposium.” Metascience 18 (3): 355–90.10.1007/s11016-009-9299-1CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Stanford, Kyle. 2006. Exceeding Our Grasp: Science, History, and the Problem of Unconceived Alternatives. New York: Oxford University Press.10.1093/0195174089.001.0001CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Stanford, Kyle 2009. “Author’s Response.” In “Grasping at Realist Straws: Review Symposium.” Metascience 18 (3): 355–90.Google Scholar
Stanford, Kyle 2013. “Underdetermination of Scientific Theory.” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, ed. Zalta, Edward N.. Stanford, CA: Stanford University. http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2013/entries/scientific-underdetermination/.Google Scholar
Winther, Rasmus G. 2009. “A Dialogue.” In “Grasping at Realist Straws: Review Symposium.” Metascience 18 (3): 355–90.Google Scholar
3
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Stanford’s Unconceived Alternatives from the Perspective of Epistemic Obligations
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Stanford’s Unconceived Alternatives from the Perspective of Epistemic Obligations
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Stanford’s Unconceived Alternatives from the Perspective of Epistemic Obligations
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *