Cognitive grounds for choice among equally well confirmed alternative physical theories.
AuthorFawkes, Donald Arthur.
Committee ChairByerly, Henry C.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractChapter 1 employs an analysis of the ad hoc to argue that there are cognitive grounds (grounds properly and reasonably connected with knowledge) for choice between empirically equivalent alternative physical theories, and that there are cognitive grounds for theory transition, like the transition from ether theory to relativity theory. Chapter 2 examines the indefinitely large class of empirically equivalent alternatives to standard General Relativity Theory (GTR), and argues that there are cognitive grounds that favor standard GTR. Chapter 3 describes two fairly recent attempts to resolve the problem of an indefinitely large class of empirically equivalent alternatives to standard GTR, posed in chapter 2, and argues that these recent attempts fail. Chapter 4 examines and argues for an epistemological principle employed in chapter 1, and then concludes with a summary of some general consequences for the philosophy of science posed by this study.