Abstract

One typical realist response to the argument from underdetermination of theories by evidence is an appeal to epistemic criteria besides the empirical evidence to argue that, while scientific theories might be empirically equivalent, they are not epistemically equivalent. In this article, I spell out a new and reformulated version of the underdetermination argument that takes such criteria into account. I explain the notion of epistemic equivalence which this new argument appeals to, and argue that epistemic equivalence can be achieved in several, significantly different, ways. On the basis of this ‘multiple realisability’ of epistemic equivalence, I then proceed to explain and examine some of the main consequences of this reformulated underdetermination argument for both realists and anti-realists.

  • 1Introduction

  • 2General Remarks

  • 3Premise (2)

  • 4The New Underdetermination Argument

  • 5The Varieties of Epistemic Equivalence

  • 6Consequences for Realists and Anti-realists

    •   6.1Consequences for realists

    •   6.2Consequences for anti-realists

    •   6.3Upshot

  • 7Conclusion

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