1.24 Examples of the method: perception and imagery.

At the heart of the underdetermination of scientific theory byevidence is the simple idea that the evidence available to us at agiven time may be insufficient to determine what beliefs we shouldhold in response to it. In a textbook example, if all I know is thatyou spent $10 on apples and oranges and that apples cost $1 whileoranges cost $2, then I know that you did not buy six oranges, but Ido not know whether you bought one orange and eight apples, twooranges and six apples, and so on. A simple scientific example can befound in the rationale behind the sensible methodological adage that“correlation does not imply causation”. If watching lotsof cartoons causes children to be more violent in their playgroundbehavior, then we should (barring complications) expect to find acorrelation between levels of cartoon viewing and violent playgroundbehavior. But that is also what we would expect to find ifchildren who are prone to violence tend to enjoy and seek out cartoonsmore than other children, or if propensities to violence and increasedcartoon viewing are both caused by some third factor (like generalparental neglect or excessive consumption of Twinkies). So a highcorrelation between cartoon viewing and violent playground behavior isevidence that (by itself) simply underdetermines what weshould believe about the causal relationship between the two. But itturns out that this simple and familiar predicament only scratches thesurface of the various ways in which problems of underdeterminationcan arise in the course of scientific investigation.

In Chapter 1 we survey some of the contrastive pairs of facts that invite such an analysis.

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1.24 Some examples of the method: perception and imagery.

Alternatively, we could use all the local sources of evidence , to constrain global hypotheses.

Duhem’s original case for holist underdetermination is, perhapsunsurprisingly, intimately bound up with his arguments forconfirmational holism: the claim that theories or hypotheses can onlybe subjected to empirical testing in groups or collections, never inisolation. The idea here is that a single scientific hypothesis doesnot by itself carry any implications about what we should expect toobserve in nature; rather, we can derive empirical consequences froman hypothesis only when it is conjoined with many other beliefs andhypotheses, including background assumptions about the world, beliefsabout how measuring instruments operate, further hypotheses about theinteractions between objects in the original hypothesis’ fieldof study and the surrounding environment, etc. For this reason, Duhemargues, when an empirical prediction turns out to be falsified, we donot know whether the fault lies with the hypothesis we originallysought to test or with one of the many other beliefs and hypothesesthat were also needed and used to generate the failed prediction:


Contrastive analysis, error analysis, ..

Contrastive analysis makes it possible, for example, to take Pavlov's findings about the Orienting Response (OR), the massive wave of activity that affects all parts of the nervous system when we encounter a novel situation.

Decline of Contrastive Analysis

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Contrastive Analysis Hypothesis is that language ..

Though I have tried very hard to make the theory as clear and understandable as possible, the job of understanding each hypothesis, the evidence and , and its relation to the rest of the theory will take some effort.

A Contrastive Analysis of Persian and English - …

“” similarly re-envisions what slides can do for engineers and scientists. (The rhetorical move of making an assertion and supporting it with evidence is of course used in the humanities as well.) The focus of that work is PowerPoint slides for presentations, but the framework can be applied to a single slide for a poster by stating the assertion and then illustrating it with visual images (or text boxes), as in the example to the right.