Ciência histórica: um estudo das inferências de origens de Darwin

terça-feira, novembro 22, 2011

Historical Science, Over- and Underdetermined: A Study of Darwins Inference of Origins

Author: Tucker, Aviezer

Source: British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, Volume 62, Number 4, 24 December 2011 , pp. 805-829(25)


The epistemology of the historical sciences has been debated recently. Cleland argued that the effects of the past overdetermine it. Turner argued that the past is underdetermined by its effects because of the decay of information from the past. I argue that the extent of over- and underdetermination cannot be approximated by philosophical inquiry. It is an empirical question that each historical science attempts to answer. Philosophers should examine how paradigmatic cases of historical science handled underdetermination or utilized overdetermination. I analyze such a paradigmatic case, Darwins phylogenetic inferences. Darwin proceeded in three consecutive stages. The initial inference that there was some common cause of homologies was usually overdetermined. The final inference of the character traits of ancestor species was usually underdetermined. The second stage inference of the causal net that connected the species that share some common cause was inbetween. A comparison with Comparative Historical Linguistics demonstrates similar three stages of inference that move from the over- to the underdetermined. 

1 Introduction

2 The Overdetermined Inference of Some Common Cause

3 The Inference of Common Cause Causal Nets

4 The Undertermined Inference of the Properties of Origins

5 Conclusion: The Historical Sciences

Document Type: Research article