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In the mid-1800s, there was much debate about the origin or 'exciting cause' of cholera. Despite much confusion surrounding the disease, the so-called miasma theory emerged as the prevalent account about cholera's cause. Going against this mainstream view, the British physician John Snow inferred several things about cholera's origin and pathology that no(More)
The case of John Snow has long been important to epidemiologists and public health officials. However, despite the fact that there have been many discussions about the various aspects of Snow's case, there has been virtually no discussion about what guided Snow's reasoning in his coming to believe his various conclusions about cholera. Here, I want to take(More)
One premise of the underdetermination argument is that entailment of evidence is the only epistemic constraint on theory-choice. I argue that methodological rules can be epistemically significant, both with respect to observables and unobservables. Using an example from the history of medicine -- Koch's 1882 discovery of tuberculosis bacteria -- I argue(More)
The main purpose of this paper is to test structural realism against (one example from) the historical record. I begin by laying out an existing challenge to structural realism - that of providing an example of a theory exhibiting successful structures that were abandoned - and show that this challenge can be met by the miasma theory of disease. However,(More)
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