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What’s so special about empirical adequacy?

Bhakthavatsalam, S. and Cartwright, N. (2017) 'What’s so special about empirical adequacy?', European journal for philosophy of science., 7 (3). pp. 445-465.

Abstract

Empirical adequacy matters directly - as it does for antirealists - if we aim to get all or most of the observable facts right, or indirectly - as it does for realists - as a symptom that the claims we make about the theoretical facts are right. But why should getting the facts - either theoretical or empirical - right be required of an acceptable theory? Here we endorse two other jobs that good theories are expected to do: helping us with a) understanding and b) managing the world. Both are of equal, often greater, importance than getting a swathe of facts right, and empirical adequacy fares badly in both. It is not needed for doing these jobs and in many cases it gets in the way of doing them efficiently.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Sindhuja Bhakthavatsalam - Liberal Studies Program, California State University, Northridge. Nancy Cartwright - Department of Philosophy, Durham University, and Department of Philosophy, UC San Diego.
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First Live Deposit - 15 February 2017
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Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:https://doi.org/10.1007/s13194-017-0171-7
Publisher statement:© The Author(s) 2017 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Record Created:15 Feb 2017 11:14
Last Modified:06 Oct 2017 13:45

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