V quine has concurred in this judgment arguing that our statements about the external world face the tribunal of sense experience not indi vidually but only as a corporate body some philosophers have thought that the duhem quine thesis gra tuitously raises perplexities. The duhem quine thesis also called the duhem quine problem after pierre duhem and willard van orman quine is that it is impossible to test a scientific hypothesis in isolation because an empirical test of the hypothesis requires one or more background assumptions also called auxiliary assumptions or auxiliary hypotheses. According to a view assumed by many scientists and philosophers of science and standardly found in science textbooks it is controlled ex perience which provides the basis for distinguishing between acceptable and unacceptable theories in science acceptable theories are those which can pass empirical tests. Can theories be refuted essays on the duhem quine thesis edited by sandra g harding state university of new york at albany discussion of the implications of the duhem quine thesis a discussion which has occurred mainly in the last decade in his great book the aim and structure of physical theory duhem. Note citations are based on reference standards however formatting rules can vary widely between applications and fields of interest or study the specific requirements or preferences of your reviewing publisher classroom teacher institution or organization should be applied
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