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What Demonstrative Induction Can Do against the Threat of Underdetermination: Bohr, Heisenberg, and Pauli on Spectroscopic Anomalies (1921-24)

Michela Massimi
Synthese
Vol. 140, No. 3 (Jun., 2004), pp. 243-277
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20118457
Page Count: 35
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What Demonstrative Induction Can Do against the Threat of Underdetermination: Bohr, Heisenberg, and Pauli on Spectroscopic Anomalies (1921-24)
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Abstract

In this paper I argue that demonstrative induction can deal with the problem of underdetermination of theory by evidence. I present the historical case study of spectroscopy in the early 1920s, where the choice among different theories was apparently underdetermined by spectroscopic evidence concerning the alkali doublets and their anomalous Zeeman effect. By casting this historical episode within the methodological framework of demonstrative induction, the local underdetermination among Bohr's, Heisenberg's, and Pauli's rival theories is resolved in favour of Pauli's theory of the electron's spin.

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