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Theory-ladenness: testing the ‘untestable'

Votsis, Ioannis (2018) Theory-ladenness: testing the ‘untestable'. Synthese. ISSN 0039-7857

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Identification Number: 10.1007/s11229-018-01992-y


In this paper, I investigate two potential ways to experimentally test the thesis that observation is theory-laden. One is a proposal due to Schurz (J Gen Philos Sci 46:139–153, 2015) and the other my own. The two are compared and found to have some features in common. One such feature is that both proposals seek to create conditions that compel test subjects with diverse theoretical backgrounds to resort to bare (or at least as bare as possible) observational judgments. Thus, if judgments made under those conditions are convergent across test subjects, the said convergence would lend credibility to the view that theory-neutral observations are feasible. This still leaves the question of why any such convergence exists unanswered. Towards the end of the paper, it is argued that the best explanation for observational judgment convergence is the veridicality of those judgments.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2018 The Author
Divisions: Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Date Deposited: 02 Jan 2019 10:46
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2024 17:51

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