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Journal for General Philosophy of Science

, Volume 46, Issue 2, pp 413–418 | Cite as

Peter Vickers: Understanding Inconsistent Science

Oxford University Press, Oxford 2013, 288 pp, £40.00, ISBN: 978-0-19-969202-6
  • Bryson BrownEmail author
Essay Review
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Cases of apparent inconsistency in science have often been cited and discussed by philosophers of science. Widely discussed examples include Bohr’s model of the hydrogen atom and old quantum theory more generally, classical (Newtonian) cosmology, classical electrodynamics and the early calculus. In Understanding Inconsistent Science, Peter Vickers examines these examples and a few more, while arguing for the rather deflating conclusion that none of them qualifies as a real case of inconsistency in science. Vickers’ treatment of the examples is detailed and well-referenced, while also being admirably accessible, even for an audience that lacks a full grasp of the science and mathematics involved.

In Chapters 1 and 2 Vickers develops a broad framework for his project, considering a series of questions that might be asked about inconsistency in science, before arriving at what he adopts as the central question for his treatment of the examples:

In each case, which propositions have to be...

Keywords

Paraconsistent Logic Inconsistent Theory Lottery Paradox Fair Lottery Doxastic Commitment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Brown, B., & Priest, G. (2004). Chunk and permeate, a paraconsistent inference strategy, part I: The infinitesimal calculus. Journal of Philosophical Logic, 33, 379–388.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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  3. Kyburg, H.E. (1970). Conjunctivitis. In M. Swain (Ed.), Induction, acceptance and rational belief (Vol. 26, pp. 55–82). Synthese library. Amsterdam, Springer.Google Scholar
  4. Lehrer, K. (1975). Reason and consistency. In K. Lehrer (Ed.), Analysis and metaphysics (Vol. 4, pp. 57–74). Philosophical studies series in philosophy. Amsterdam: Springer.Google Scholar
  5. Schotch, P. K., Brown, B., & Jennings, R. E. (Eds.). (2009). On preserving: essays on preservationism and paraconsistent logic. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LethbridgeCanada

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