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A Critique of Putnam's Principle of the Benefit of Doubt

By I. Douven


The Principle of the Benefit of Doubt dictates that, whenever reasonably\ud possible, we interpret earlier-day scientists as referring to entities posited\ud by current science. Putnam has presented the principle as supplementary\ud to his Causal Theory of Reference in order to make this theory generally\ud applicable to scientific terms. The present paper argues that the principle\ud is of doubtful standing. In particular, it will be argued that the principle\ud lacks a justification and, indeed, is unjustifiable as it stands

Topics: Wijsbegeerte
Year: 1999
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