, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 17–34 | Cite as

The falsifiability of theories: Total or partial? A contemporary evaluation of the Duhem-Quine thesis

  • Adolf Grünbaum


Contemporary Evaluation 
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  1. 1.
    F. S. C. Northrop,The Logic of the Sciences and the Humanities, New York, 1947, p. 146.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Cf. Pierre Duhem,The Aim and Structure of Physical Theory. Princeton, 1954, Part2, Ch. 6, esp. pp. 183–190.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Quine,From a Logical Point of View, 2. ed., Cambridge, 1961, p. 43. Cf. also p. 41, n. 17.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    H. Putnam, Three-Valued Logic,Philosophical Studies,8 (1957) 74.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Cf. H. L. Alexander,Reactions With Drug Therapy, Philadelphia, 1955, p. 14. Alexander writes: “It is true that drugs with closely related chemical structures do not always behave clinically in a similar manner, for antigenicity of simple chemical compounds may be changed by minor alterations of molecular structures. ... 1, 2, 4-trinitrobenzen... is a highly antigenic compound. ... 1, 3, ... trinitrobenzene is allergenically inert.” (I am indebted to Dr. A. I. Braude for this reference).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Cf. A. Einstein, Reply to Criticisms,Albert-Einstein: Philosopher-Scientist (ed. by P. A. Schilpp). Tudor, New York, 1949, pp. 676–678.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    H. Poincaré,The Foundations of Science, Lancaster, 1946, p. 76.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Cf. I. S. Sokolnikoff,Mathematical Theory of Elasticity. McGraw-Hill, New York, 1946. S. Timoshenko and J. N. Goodier,Theory of Elasticity. McGraw-Hill, New York, 1951.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    H. Weyl,Space-Time-Matter. Dover Publications, New York, 1950, p. 67.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Ibid., p. 93.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    I draw here on my more detailed treatment of this and related issues in A. Grünbaum, Geometry, Chronometry and Empiricism,Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science, Vol.3, Minneapolis, 1962, pp. 510–521.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    L. P. Eisenhart,Riemannian Geometry. Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1949, p. 177.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    This law is only the first approximation, because the rate of thermal expansion varies with the temperature. The general equation giving the magnitudem t (length or volume) at a temperaturet, wherem 0 is the magnitude at 0° C, ism t =m 0(1 +±t +±t 2 +γt 3 + ...) whereα, β, γ, etc, are empirically determined coefficients (Cf.Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, Cleveland, 1941, p. 2194). The argument which is about to be given by reference to the approximate form of the law can be readily generalized to forms of the law involving more than one coefficient of expansion.Google Scholar

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© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1962

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  • Adolf Grünbaum

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