Review Questions For Melchert pp. 39-52
  1. Anita responds to Peter’s pressing the point of his under-determination argument by suggesting that scientific support is partially explained by the falsifiability of the theories in question. What does she mean by falsifiability? How does this notion undercut Peter’s under-determination argument?
  2. Peter replies to Anita and Michael by arguing that there are no neutral interpretations of the results of any test. What does he mean by “no neutral interpretations”? If he were right, how would science (or strong theism, or any notion of objectivity) be affected?

  3. Explain the image of the ships, and of “jumping ship” that Peter uses to describe the project of belief. How does it fit with his “no neutral interpretations” argument? What is Anita’s first objection to the ship image? 

  4. Elizabeth raises a second objection to Peter’s view over pages 44-5. Summarize her objection. 

  5. Anita concedes Peter’s point about underdetermination to a degree, but she still thinks his point about any belief being as good as any other doesn’t follow. Why does she think this? Michael raises a third and somewhat related objection to Peter’s view concerning scientific progress. Explain his objection. 

  6. Peter responds to Michael’s objection by pointing out what he calls the “conventionality” of language. Summarize Peter’s point here, and explain the subsequent objection to it that Anita raises.

  7. What does Peter mean, when he says on p. 50, that “Accepting certain standards for belief is equivalent to adopting a certain kind of rationality”? (Note: You may want to refer to the long summary of his view on page 51 to help you answer this question.)
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License