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Wolfgang Pietsch
conference paper description
The old antagonism between the Quinean and the Duhemian view on underdetermination is reexamined. In this respect, two theses will be defended. First, it is argued that the main differences between Quine's and Duhem's versions of underdetermination derive from a different attitude towards the history of science. While Quine considered underdetermination from an ahistorical, a logical point of view, Duhem approached it as a distinguished historian of physics. On this basis, a logical and a historical version of the underdetermination thesis can be distinguished. The second thesis of the article is that the main objections against underdetermination are fatal only to the logical rendering. Taken together, the two theses constitute a defence of underdetermination.

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