Resisting Underdetermination: Caught between the Data and the Deep Blue Sea
Dept of Philosophy and Humanities
East Tennessee State University
Abstract: One way in which the scope of underdetermination theses might be restricted starts by drawing a distinction between the fundamental assumptions of scientific theories and what we might call ‘middle level regularities’. In this paper I take Stanford’s (2006) examples from 19th century developmental biology and argue that although Stanford seems right that an important kind of underdetermination exists at the level of fundamental claims, a significant realist thesis might still be defended if we attend to less general claims made by Darwin, Galton and Weismann.