Duhemian good sense and agent reliabilism.

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Studies in history and philosophy of science, ISSN: 0039-3681, Vol: 64, Page: 22-29

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Bhakthavatsalam, Sindhuja
Elsevier BV
Arts and Humanities
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Stump (2007) argues for a virtue epistemological reading of Duhem's good sense: according to him Duhem advanced good sense as a source of justified beliefs about theory choice and as a mark of the cognitive character of the physicist. Ivanova (2010) argues that Duhem proposed good sense as a post hoc explanation of theory choice rather than as a justification of it. Fairweather (2011) has advanced a "hybrid position" combining Stump's and Ivanova's views. I contend that Ivanova’s reading of Duhem is inaccurate and that good sense can indeed be accommodated within virtue epistemology. However Stump’s account is incomplete: I propose that within virtue epistemology, agent reliabilism best accommodates Duhemian good sense. Moreover, no hybrid reading is required: I argue that agent reliabilism fully accommodates Duhem's position on good sense. Finally I also explore the relevance of a reliabilist reading of Duhem to the debate on how to deal with the Problem of Induction in scientific practice.