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Philosophy of Science MattersThe Philosophy of Peter Achinstein$
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Gregory J. Morgan

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199738625

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199738625.001.0001

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Making Contact with Molecules: On Perrin and Achinstein

Making Contact with Molecules: On Perrin and Achinstein

(p.177) 14 Making Contact with Molecules: On Perrin and Achinstein
Philosophy of Science Matters

Stathis Psillos (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Peter Achinstein has offered one of the most systematic expositions and reconstructions of Perrin's argument for the reality of atoms, aiming (a) to show how his own theory of evidence best accounts for the significance of Perrin's results; and (b) how Perrin has offered a local and experimental argument for scientific realism. After some detailed presentation of Perrin's own argument, this chapter offers my own reconstruction of it and show why it is superior to Achinstein's. Finally, the chapter draws some lessons for scientific realism.

Keywords:   Achinstein, Perrin, atomic hypothesis, Brownian movement, scientific realism, Bayesianism, confirmation

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