Falsification, the Duhem-Quine Thesis and Scientific Realism: from a Phenomenological Point of View

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Although the phenomenological appraisal of natural scientific method has received wider attention in the past two decades, it is still too often thought that phenomenological analysis has little or no immediate relevance for specific logical issues in philosophy of science and, vice versa, that analysis of problems in scientific methodology is not useful for illuminating questions in phenomenological method. That this is not the case becomes evident in the examination of a central issue in philosophy of science, the Duhem-Quine thesis, which continues to be the subject of contemporary debate. Not only can phenomenology give a detailed analysis of this problem, but such analysis will also show its relevance for phenomenological method. And that this is true indicates a common origin of the import of the Duhem-Quine thesis for both philosophy of science and phenomenology, viz., the crucial role of falsification in considerations of realism from both logical and phenomenological points of view.