What to do with a problem like Duhem-Quine?

Martin K. Jones

Table of Contents


The Duhem-Quine problem has been seen as a major problem in the philosophy of science with much effort expended trying to circumvent it or weaken its implications. More recently, the problem has become a major issue within the methodology of experimental economics. It is argued that much of the discussion to date within experimental economics on the Duhem-Quine problem either sacrifices too much explanatory power or fails to deal properly with the problem. Following recent discussions in the philosophy of science it can be seen that the best way to deal with the problem is to critique Quine’s own conception of science.


  • Experiments
  • Duhem-Quine problem
  • auxiliary hypotheses


  • Introduction
  • Quine’s critique of positivism
  • Response of experimental methodologists to the duhem-quine problem
  • Initial criticism of previous solutions to the duhem-quine problem
  • critique of quine’s view of science
  • Conclusion