Unit 8 Flashcards Preview

Critical Thinking (PHIL252) > Unit 8 > Flashcards

Flashcards in Unit 8 Deck (6)
Loading flashcards...
1

What are the ways to identify theories in the text?

1. Look for statements that explain why regularities occur. Indicator words: because, why, explains, accounts for.
2. Theories typically have broader scope than that which they explain. Many regularities can be explained with the same theory.
3. Theories are more remote from direct evidence than the events or processes they explain.
4. Theories commonly use specialized technical language.

2

What are first-stage criticisms of empirical theories?

1. There is a plausible alternative theory.
2. The theory makes doubtful predictions. What else would we expect to occur if the theory was true? Does it actually occur? If not then the theory is discredited.

3

What are second-stage criticisms of empirical theories?

1. Defense against doubtful predictions is ad hoc.
2. The theory is untestable.

4

Explain ad hoc defense against doubtful predictions.

If the proponent of the theory changes the theory to accommodate the damaging evidence presented by the theory critic.

5

What is empirical theory?

Empirical theory is a set of statements of broad scope that explains why patterns or regularities occur.

6

What is a regularity?

A pattern of behavior that is explained by a theory.