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G. Naturalism & Normativity > Empirical Adequacy vs. Cognitive Values and Virtues in Science, or Empirical Adequacy as but one Theory Virtue among Others?

Is empirical adequacy always the ‘thin’ notion associated with a test (i.e., a measure invoking no theory or character virtues), or does it in function in scientific debates function more like set of virtue concepts? This question has been debated between van Frassian "constructive empiricists" who present empirical adequacy as the only genuinely epistemic desiderata of theory-choice, and realists like Eran McMullian in the philosophy of science, the latter taking that tends to treat empirical adequacy as one cognitive or epistemic theory virtue among others.

I think the lessons of a hundred years of debate involving the underdetermination problem teach us not to expect a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer to this question. If I am right, we need a form of "contextualism" here. Would you agree, and if so, what sort of contextualism needs to be developed?
March 7, 2012 | Registered CommenterGuy Axtell