Eliminating inconsistency in science
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In this book, Peter Vickers argues that inconsistency in science has been massively exaggerated by philosophers. In his view, inconsistent science is neither as rampant nor as damaging as many have supposed. To argue his point, he develops a specific method he calls theory eliminativism and applies it to four case studies from the history of physics and mathematics (there are four additional cases he considers in the penultimate chapter, but they are rather brief and are apparently less highly cited in the literature, so I will skip them in what follows).
The method is original and convincing, and the case studies well researched and compelling. Vickers’ monograph provides a challenge to any philosopher of science who takes inconsistency claims seriously, while also introducing a potentially very useful methodology for analyzing away problematic ‘theory’ discourse in other philosophical debates. Overall then, this is a very creative text and useful for both those directly interested in...