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Observationally Indistinguishable Spacetimes: A Challenge for Any Inductivist

Norton, JD (2011) Observationally Indistinguishable Spacetimes: A Challenge for Any Inductivist. In: Philosophy of Science Matters: The Philosophy of Peter Achinstein. UNSPECIFIED. ISBN 9780199738625

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Abstract

© 2011 by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. Results on the observational indistinguishability of spacetimes demonstrate the impossibility of determining by deductive inference which is our spacetime, no matter how extensive a portion of the spacetime is observed. These results do not illustrate an underdetermination of theory by evidence, since they make no decision between competing theories and they make little contact with the inductive considerations that must ground such a decision. Rather, these results express a variety of indeterminism in which a specification of the observable past always fails to fix the remainder of a spacetime. This form of indeterminism is more troubling than the familiar indeterminism of quantum theory. The inductive inferences that can discriminate among the different spacetime extensions of the observed past are here called "opaque," which means that we cannot readily see the warrant that lies behind them.


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Details

Item Type: Book Section
Status: Published
Creators/Authors:
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Norton, JDjdnorton@pitt.eduJDNORTON
Centers: University Centers > Center for Philosophy of Science
Date: 1 May 2011
Date Type: Publication
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199738625.003.0013
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > History and Philosophy of Science
Refereed: Yes
ISBN: 9780199738625
Title of Book: Philosophy of Science Matters: The Philosophy of Peter Achinstein
Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2012 14:20
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2019 15:56
URI: http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/id/eprint/12541

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