Idealization, Abduction, and Progressive Scientific Change

Citation data:

THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science, ISSN: 2171-679X, Vol: 22, Issue: 3, Page: 331-338

Publication Year:
2007
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Repository URL:
http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/10420
DOI:
10.1387/theoria.454
Author(s):
De Donato-Rodríguez, Xavier
Publisher(s):
Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea / Universidad del País Vasco
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article description
After a brief comparison of Aliseda’s account with different approaches to abductive reasoning, I relate abduction, as studied by Aliseda, to idealization, a notion which also occupies a very important role in scientific change, as well as to different ways of dealing with the growth of scientific knowledge understood as a particular kind of non-monotonic process. A particularly interesting kind of abductive reasoning could be that of finding an appropriate concretization case for a theory, originally revealed as extraordinarily successful but later discovered to be strictly false or only approximately or ideally true. I try to show this with the example of the Kepler-Newton relation. At the end of the paper, I give criteria in order to construe abductive explanations in correspondence with a reasonable account of empirical progress.