Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

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Criteria: do not follow from a definition but must be developed. The criteria for the application of a concept to an object are more concerned with language practice in a community. E.g. the definition of truth does not provide a criterion for which sentences are true.

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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I 279
Hypotheses/Criterion/Duhem: Certain fundamental hypotheses cannot be refuted by any experiment because they form definitions in reality, and certain expressions used by the physicist only receive meaning through them.
I 280
E.g. Free fall cannot be refuted (like Putnam's robot cats) When a heavy body falls free, its acceleration is constant. This cannot be disproved in the experiment because it forms the definition of what one understands under free fall!

Le Roy: "Laws are not verifiable if they are taken strictly, because they themselves constitute the criterion."
I 281
Duhem: the words "free fall of a heavy body" now have a twofold meaning: for those who do not know the theories, they have a real meaning, for the physicist they have a symbolic meaning.

Duhem: the theory would not have fulfilled its task if the second meaning was not the expression of the first. Only that the symbolic sense does not have the accuracy of the real and concrete case we observe.

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.

Duh I
P. Duhem
Ziel und Struktur der physikalischen Theorien Hamburg 1998

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2017-10-18