Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

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Under-determination, philosophy: contrary to e.g. geometric figures, no everyday object is fully described. An object is under-determined, if not all features belonging to its concept can be assigned with a value. The under-determinateness of theories is the problem that, even if an object is fully described in the framework of a theory, various other, non-equivalent theories can still apply to it. See also determinateness, uncertainty of translation, Gavagai, definition, criteria, certainty, quantum mechanics.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

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X 25 ~
Underdetermination/Empiricism/Quine: also through unmonitored data.
Lauener XI 119
Underdetermination/Identity of theories/Quine/Lauener: theories: can be logically incompatible and empirically equivalent - E.g. interchanging -electron/molecule-: makes true sentences false - "since the change is purely terminological, you can say that both versions express the same theory -" so they are empirically equivalent -" however, the predicates can be reconstructed in a way that the theories also become logically equivalent - E.g. empirically equivalent: Theory a) space infinite -" b) finite, objects shrink with distance from the center -" Again, the predicates can be rephrased in such a way that the theories are logically equivalent -" underdetermination: In order to prove them, it would have to have an influence on the empirical content -" Quine: almost impossible to find an example.
Lauener XI 120
Underdetermination/Quine/Lauener: there are rivals to every infinite theory that are equivalent empirically, but not logically, and that cannot be made logically equivalent by reconstructing the predicates.
Stroud I 217
Underdetermination/Theory/Theoretical terms/Entities/Quine/Stroud: the truths that the scientist introduces e.g. about molecules are not sufficiently determined by all the truths that he knows or can ever know about the normal objects -" (s) there could be several possible theories which imply the same set of truths about the normal objects, but differ in terms of the theoretical ones -" theoretical entities do not follow from the truths about normal things -" Quine/Stroud: for him, normal objects are also just hypotheses -" this is how all theories go beyond data -" underdetermination: also remains, if we included all past and future nervous stimuli of all people.
I 234
Problem: even true sentences go beyond the data, are projections - therefore they cannot be known.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.

W.V.O. Quine
Wort und Gegenstand Stuttgart 1980

W.V.O. Quine
Theorien und Dinge Frankfurt 1985

W.V.O. Quine
Grundzüge der Logik Frankfurt 1978

W.V.O. Quine
Mengenlehre und ihre Logik Wiesbaden 1967

W.V.O. Quine
Die Wurzeln der Referenz Frankfurt 1989

W.V.O. Quine
Unterwegs zur Wahrheit Paderborn 1995

W.V.O. Quine
From a logical point of view Cambridge, Mass. 1953

W.V.O. Quine
Bezeichnung und Referenz
Zur Philosophie der idealen Sprache, J. Sinnreich (Hg), München 1982

W.V.O. Quine
Philosophie der Logik Bamberg 2005

W.V.O. Quine
Ontologische Relativität Frankfurt 2003

H. Lauener
Willard Van Orman Quine München 1982

Strd I
B. Stroud
The Significance of philosophical scepticism Oxford 1984

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2017-11-21