Artificial Examples of Empirical Equivalence

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Acuña, Pablo
preprint description
In this paper I analyze three artificial examples of empirical equivalence: van Fraassen’s alternative formulations of Newton’s theory, the Poincaré-Reichenbach argument for the conventionality of geometry; and predictively equivalent ‘systems of the world’. These examples have received attention in the philosophy of science literature because they are supposed to illustrate the connection between predictive equivalence and underdetermination of theory choice. I conclude that this view is wrong. These examples of empirical equivalence are harmless with respect to the problem of underdetermination.