One approach to the question of which objects discussed by a science are real is to designate as real all and only th...

Hunter on July 22, 2019

Explanation please

After reviewing my mistake, I realize that ”enhances the explanatory power of that theory” makes A require an assumptio to strengthen. Still, B did not seem like a strong strengthener. B says that most entities posited by scientific theories aren't real. And there only needs to be one case of the most explanatory powerful theory of science containing such entity to prove the approach flawed - thus, strengthening the argument. However, I may have figured it out as I was typing. Is B a sufficient strengthener? If most scientific theories contain objects that are not real, then that means at least one of the most explanatory powerful theories of science does as well.

2 Replies

Hunter on July 22, 2019

After reading the stimulus more closely, B is not sufficient. So, I’d still would appreciate an explanation!

Irina on July 23, 2019


This is a strengthen question as you correctly pointed out. Let's briefly look at the argument structure:

The first premise is a conditional "if & only if" statement that can be diagrammed as:

real object <-> entity posited by the most explanatory powerful theory of science

It is followed by a counter-premise:

Most scientific theories contain entities posited solely on theoretical grounds.

And conclusion:

The approach is flawed.

The easiest way to understand how (B) strengthens the argument is to see the conclusion "the approach is flawed" as "entities posed solely on theoretical grounds should not be designated as real." That is the implied conclusion behind the author's shortcut of "this approach is flawed." (B) uses language similar to our counter-premise but makes it even stronger. Objects posited for theoretical reasons ONLY - similar to SOLELY- should NEVER be designated as real. (B) thus strengthens the connection between the counter-premise and the conclusion.

Hope this helps. Let me know if you need further clarification.