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Old 03-30-2010, 08:28 PM
Tyrrell McAllister Tyrrell McAllister is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 121
Default Re: Science Saturday: Who Got What Wrong? (Jerry Fodor & Elliott Sober)

Originally Posted by per.christoffersson View Post
Is Fodor of the opinion that a theory is a theory, only if it is able to explain itself without resorting to examples?
I think his point is more that a theory should add something significant to the concrete examples taken from its domain. In particular, the theory should make some nontrivial claim about all examples that could ever arise within its domain.

For example, Newtonian gravitational theory says that all collections of massive particles will exert gravitational forces on each other in accordance with a particular formula that depends only on the positions and masses of those particles and a certain universal constant.

Fodor's fine with a theory making a merely probabilistic claim about all the examples that could arise from its domain. But he doesn't think that Natural Selection Theory meets even this standard.
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