Holism, Inconsistency Toleration and Inconsistencies between Theory and Observation
It has recently been argued by Davey (2014) that inconsistency is never tolerated in science, but only discretely isolated. But when talking about inconsistencies in science, not much attention has been paid to the inconsistencies between theory and observation. Here I will argue that inconsistency toleration actually takes place in science, and that when we examine actual inconsistent theories, inconsistencies between theory and observation look anything but homogeneous. I will argue, appealing to certain properties of empirical theories, especially holism, that at least two sub-types of inconsistencies regarding theory and observation can be distinguished: those that satisfy a criterion of observational independence and those that do not.
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