The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Pierre Duhem

Pierre Maurice Marie Duhem (10 June 186114 September 1916) French physicist and philosopher of science.

Duhem adopted an instrumentalist view of science. He gave his name to the Quine-Duhem thesis, which holds that for any given set of observations there are an innumerably large number of explanations. Thus empirical evidence cannot force the revision of a theory. He further observed that the failure of a theory to make accurate predictions implies a failure of the theory as a whole, not of a particular part. These views were later adopted by W. V. Quine.

External Reference

Pierre Maurice Marie Duhem By J J O'Connor and E F Robertson available at

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