Duhem Quine thesis
The Duhem-Quine thesis (also Quine-Duhem thesis , holism thesis ) claims that a theory is underdetermined by observational data. According to this, a theory consists of many interlinked statements that together form a whole that is as coherent as possible .
Accordingly, on the one hand, a theory cannot be verified or falsified through individual empirical observations and experiments - there are always a number of other theories up for debate. On the other hand, epistemological subjects always have several options, if an observation contradicts a certain theory, of changing this theory in such a way that it again agrees with the observations.
Its name is derived from Pierre Duhem , who first formulated it for physical theories, and from Willard Van Orman Quine , who generalized it in his essay Two Dogmas of Empiricism . There he claims that
"[...] our assertions about the outside world do not stand individually [,] but as a group before the tribunal of sensory experiences."
Otto Neurath co- founded the Duhem-Quine thesis and is another representative of holism .
The Duhem-Quine thesis criticizes both the attempt to confirm and the falsification of individual legal hypotheses as falling short.
The Duhem-Quine thesis is also seen in connection with Gödel's incompleteness theorem of 1931, which states that a complete axiomatization of complex theories in the sense of the Hilbert program is impossible.
- PowerPoint slides on the observable / non-observable problem, underdetermination and the Duhem-Quine thesis
- In short: The Duhem-Quine thesis and scientific holism (philosophy of science), gap: The Society for Analytical Philosophy, 2017 on YouTube
- 4d - Epistemology (2020) - The Duhem-Quine thesis, Dominik Finkelde - Hochschule f. Philosophy, 2020 on YouTube