During a visit to ETHZ, a philosopher of science lead my
atttention to a concept named "underdetermination", of which I was
unaware. She gave me the paper of
Martin Carrier: Underdetermination as an
epistemological test tube: Expounding hidden values of the scientific
community. Synthese (2011) 180:189–204 DOI
The abstract reads
"Duhem–Quine underdetermination plays a constructive role in epistemology by pinpointing the impact of non-empirical virtues or cognitive values on theory choice. Underdetermination thus contributes to illuminating the nature of scientific rationality. Scientists prefer and accept one account among empirical equivalent alternatives. The non-empirical virtues operating in science are laid open in such theory choice decisions. The latter act as an epistemological test tube in making explicit commitments to how scientific knowledge should be like."
and the conclusions are begun with
underdetermination thesis says that any given set of data can always be
represented by empirically equivalent, conceptually distinct accounts. The range of relevant options is dependent on how empirical equivalence and conceptual distinctiveness is spelled out but irrespective of such details, the thesis establishes a
leeway for scientific theory when faced with the verdict of nature. The
reason for the significance of this leeway is that the criteria appealed
to in picking an account from the collection of empirically
admissible options bear witness to our epistemological intuitions."
I wonder what, if any, it means for our (climate) practice? As common in such texts, the examples are from quantum mechanis and celestial dynamics, and not from environmental sciences.
The participants of KLIMAZWIEBEL are made of a diverse group of people interested in the climate issue; among them people, who consider the man-made climate change explanation as true, and others, who consider this explanation false. We have scientists and lay people; natural scientists and social scientists. People with different cultural and professional backgrounds. This is a unique resource for a relevant and inspiring discussion. This resource needs sustainable management by everybody. Therefore we ask to pay attention to these rules:
1. We do not want to see insults, ad hominem comments, lengthy tirades, ongoing repetitions, forms of disrespect to opponents. Also lengthy presentation of amateur-theories are not welcomed. When violating these rules, postings will be deleted. 2. Please limit your contributions to the issues of the different threads. 3. Please give your name or use an alias - comments from "anonymous" should be avoided. 4. When you feel yourself provoked, please restrain from ranting; instead try to delay your response for a couple of hours, when your anger has evaporated somewhat. 5. If you wan to submit a posting (begin a new thread), send it to either Eduardo Zorita or Hans von Storch - we publish it within short time. But please, only articles related to climate science and climate policy. 6. Use whatever language you want. But maybe not a language which is rarely understood in Hamburg.
Deutsche Welle collects your questions about climate
The German broadcaster Deutsche Welle collects your questions via email, youtube, facebook and twitter, which will be the answer by an expert.
Impressum: Hans von Storch, Kirchenallee 23, 20099 Hamburg, +49 40 41924472, hvonstorch(at)privat.dk
Haftungshinweis: Trotz sorgfältiger inhaltlicher Kontrolle übernehmen wir keine Haftung für die Inhalte externer Links. Für den Inhalt der verlinkten Seiten sind ausschließlich deren Betreiber verantwortlich.