The point of the first example, the Corpuscular light theory, was to falsify the Hypothetico Model. Corpuscular light theory is a theory that says that light is comprised of miniscule particles that travel in straight lines. Another hypothesis for the theory was that instead of small particles, they were actually waves. Salmon and Earman said the test hypothesis was light contains corpuscles that travel in straight lines and the initial condition was a circular object is brightly illuminated. They also said the observational prediction was the object casts a uniform circular shadow.
After the experiment was conducted a shadow with a bright spot was noted. Because of that result, the observational prediction was incorrect. Therefore, either test hypothesis or initial condition was false. The point of the second example was to show another negative outcome of the H-D test. However, this case differed than the last example because the test hypothesis or initial condition were not falsified since the observational prediction was incorrect. Scientists were trying to predict the orbit of Uranus. Their observational prediction was false.
Their use of Newtonian Mechanics was limited since they only included known planets at the time. Instead of stating that their test hypothesis or initial condition was false, they had assumed that another planet or large body of mass had to be nearby to alter the orbit from the calculations they had gotten. Eventually, a large body of mass, Neptune, was discovered. In this instance of the H-D model the auxiliary hypothesis of the solar system and its compositions was proven false instead of something that is harder to refute such as Newtonian mechanics.
In the Mercury orbit experiment, similar to the Uranus-Neptune example, the orbit that the scientists had calculated for Mercury was incorrect and it was based on Newtonian Mechanics. Instead of refuting Newtonian Mechanics, auxiliary hypotheses had to be made and refuted. Like the Uranus orbit example scientist tested for a large mass near mercury that could throw of the orbit to differ from the calculations but none fit the calculations. However, Mercury’s odd orbit was explained by another theory that ended up replacing Newtonian Mechanics, the theory of relativity.
Salmon and Earman then go on to say that “the moral is that negative outcomes of H-D tests sometimes, do and sometimes do not, result in the refutation of the test hypothesis” (Salmon and Earman 48). Auxiliary hypotheses are generally included in H-D tests and just because the H-D test was negative it does not necessarily mean the test hypothesis was false, it could mean the auxiliary hypothesis was. The problem of underdetermination is also known as the problem of infinite alternative hypotheses.
This is a problem for confirmation because when an observational prediction is not false, it confirms the test hypothesis, initial condition or even both to be true. The problem comes in when the observational prediction is correct, not only are the test hypothesis and/or the initial condition true, you have proven that many auxiliary hypotheses that can fit the same experiment to be true. nplicity depends on the word choice and the context. Kosso has an example of how simplicity is not a straightforward solution when he talks about the graph for the heated bar. It is linear when plotted in Cartesian coordinates, and that’s the simplest form.
However, when plotted in polar coordinates it is not linear, and the result is not as simple. Kosso also states that simplicity and generality do not coincide. There was a theory that had to be explained in 26 dimensions, which is way to complex to be dumbed down into the typical 3 or 4 dimensions that most people understand. That defeats the purpose of the theory if dumbing it down to something really simple actually doesn’t contain the theory. Another reason why simplicity is problematic is stated when Kosso says that different people all over the world will have different opinions.
They will believe that some internal virtues are stronger or more apparent in theories than others will. Just because something is simple for some people, does not mean it is simple for everybody else. The problem of induction is an issue where you think something will occur based off of experience. For example, just because | come home everyday and my dog is waiting for me at the front door, I cannot assume that this will always be the case. This would have to happen infinite times out of infinite observations, which is basically impossible. I cannot assume him being there based off of past experience.
It could be the instance where he is asleep, or maybe he ran away. Poppers solution was instead of using induction to confirm a theory; we have to use deduction to falsify it. Confirming or disconfirming empirical evidence should only be taken seriously when it is has a legitimate change to falsify a theory. Let’s say you have a hypothesis and through tests you should try to find strong evidence to falsify your theory. If you cannot do so, you have a good theory. Popper criticized Hume’s psychological view because it is an explanation of infinite regress.
Popper said it was based on repetition, genesis of habits and character of those experiences. For repetition he gave an example of riding a bike. As we first learn to ride a bike we don’t want to fall, so we learn to maneuver ourselves in a manner where we don’t fall, this is repetition. Popper says that habits can be labeled as habits after repetition has taken place but repetition does not originate habits. For character of experiences, Popper brings up the puppy and cigarette example, which reminds me of Pavlov’s dog and bell experiment. Their reactions to the stimulus were based off of repetition.
Popper then concludes that since Hume’s theory of psychology is based on experiences that happened prior, which is the problem of induction and essentially infinite regress. Popper’s alternative psychological account for how humans come up with hypotheses was based on as he states “observation of similarities”. We see things and how they are in the world and we try to label them in a manner that we see other things occur. We interpret them according to how to past experiences, by jumping to conclusions. Eventually we shall observe these conclusions and if they are false we toss them.
Confirmation holism is the idea that a theory may contain many auxiliary hypotheses that explain something or make a prediction. However, you cannot disconfirm or confirm these auxiliary statements individually. You can only confirm or disconfirm these as a whole unit. This can be done empirically via experiments and whatever the observations and results are, they can only confirm or disconfirm the whole theory including all its sub theories but not just a single sub theory. Deductive holism complicates disconfirmation and confirmation in a manner such as the physicist example that Duhem explains. A physicist has prediction of an event.
He also has a set of theories that explain that event. If the prediction of that event is not observed after the experiment is conducted then there is an issue with at least one of the statements that lead to the prediction of that event. The complication is that we are unsure which exact statement it is since the set of theories are all linked. To isolate the individual theory that causes the error would be very difficult if not possible since they are all linked and there are many of them. Duhem explains that physics is a system that cannot be broken down into intermediaries. It must be viewed as a whole.
The doctor and physicist are similar in the sense that the doctor has to diagnose the body as a whole and see what is causing the issue with the system as a whole. He cannot just start cutting up the body and address the issue because the patient would die. He has to make his assumptions from the outside and take note on the symptoms and make his conclusion from there. On the contrary, a watchmaker can take the watch apart. As he does so, he can isolate all the pieces examine them and see which one is the faulty piece and fix it or replace it. The watchmaker does not embody holism at all whereas the doctor and physicist do.