How about a meet on the Quine-Duhem hypothesis?

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  • Samuel

    Wednesdays sound fine for me, I'm mostly impartial.

    David, perhaps post a link to the Science group here? Can you just post a link in a comment? I doubt there's any way to invite however.

    October 15

  • Bob V.

    The Think meetings worked well for me because they were on Wednesday evenings. Could we do that again? The Quine-Dunham subject sounds good.

    October 15

  • David B. H.

    I should have done my homework first. It looks like Harland may have moved to Minneapolis. At least he is joining Meetups there. New group? Do the Quine-Duhem discussion in the Science & Math group? Is there a way to invite the members of Think to another Meetup?

    October 15

  • David B. H.

    Quine-Duhem sounds like a good topic. Lots of ways that could go. The Belmont Library has a nice room they let people use. May need to reserve it. Also, since Harland founded the group, does he have to call a meeting, or can anyone?

    October 15

  • Samuel

    This sounds like a great meetup idea - I see the last meeting was in February. If location is an issue, what about just meeting at a library or other public space?

    October 13

  • Mike W.

    David: How about a description of what the Quine-Duhem hypothesis is?

    November 10, 2013

  • Bob V.

    Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy:

    Sometimes called the Quine-Duhem or Duhem-Quine thesis. The thesis that a single scientific hypothesis cannot be tested in isolation, since other, auxiliary hypotheses will always be needed to draw empirical consequences from it. The Duhem thesis implies that refutation is a more complex matter than might appear. It is sometimes framed as the view that a single hypothesis may be retained in the face of any adverse empirical evidence, if we are prepared to make modifications elsewhere in our system; although strictly speaking this is a stronger thesis, since it may be psychologically impossible to make consistent revisions in a belief system to accommodate, say, the hypothesis that there is a hippopotamus in the room when visibly there is none.

    1 · December 9, 2013

    • Mike W.

      OK, thanks Bob for posting all that!

      December 9, 2013

  • Bob V.

    It's kind of a troll argument. A person could jump to the conclusion that DQ means we can't believe the results of scientific testing because we have to make so many peripheral assumptions that any results of an experiment are suspect. One of the most important aspects of science is that experiments should be repeatable. DQ is relevant for the first experiment only. When the experiment is repeated by other scientists, there will be different assumptions surrounding the new hypothesis. If the hypothesis is confirmed repeatedly then this pattern allows us to grant provisional trust in the hypothesis. That is, application of the scientific method (specifically replication)makes DQ irrelevant in scientific circles.

    This does not mean that there is nothing we can learn from DQ. It is a good idea to identify assumptions before trusting conclusions. If we use DQ as a tool for self-improvement rather than as a bludgeon for those we disagree with it can be very useful indeed.

    1 · December 9, 2013

    • Bob V.

      Another way that DQ has been misused is that I could jump to the conclusion that since all scientific testing is surrounded by assumptions, whatever supernatural wishful thinking I come up with could also be just as true because my set of assumptions says so.

      1 · December 9, 2013

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4 going

  • Brian

    Reed College Philosophy major

  • Chris M.

    I am a Physical Oceanographer (i.e., I study the physics of the ocean; such as, ocean and... more

  • David B. H.

    Will think for money.

1 not going

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  • freinkel

    Hi, I'm Andrew and I started thinking a few years after my 40th birthday.

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