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The Book of Evidence$
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Peter Achinstein

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780195143898

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195143892.001.0001

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Old‐Age and New‐Age Holism

Old‐Age and New‐Age Holism

(p.231) 11 Old‐Age and New‐Age Holism
The Book of Evidence

Peter Achinstein (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Evidential holism, espoused by Pierre Duhem and W.V. Quine, is the view that nothing can be evidence for or against an isolated hypothesis, but only for or against some group of hypotheses. The arguments of Duhem and Quine are examined and rejected. Another version of holism (”new‐age”), which requires that evidence for a hypothesis always be relativized to a set of hypotheses, is then critically evaluated using the concept of potential evidence.

Keywords:   Duhem, Duhem‐Quine, evidence, evidential holism, holism, potential evidence, Quine, Quine‐Duhem

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