In turn, eliminativism by causal exclusion is better associated to type B claims, since causal exclusion eliminativist arguments are primarily aimed at ontological elimination--perhaps, in the absence of better and more precise terms, there was even a time when talk of demons, phlogiston
and the like was useful even though their putative referents were considered highly ontologically suspect.
It plays a role similar to that substance known as phlogiston
, once believed to be that principle or substance within inflammable things that enabled them to burn.
So prior to Lavoisier and Priestly phlogiston
existed, but after them it was replaced by a totally different type of substance, oxygen (Kuhn, 1996).
On this view, the findings of earlier practitioners--even the heroes--of the profession are about as relevant to the modern enterprise as phlogiston
is to modern chemistry or blood-letting to modern medicine.
It was Lamarckian inheritance, phlogiston
, and alchemy today, tomorrow, and forever.
His history of the global variety is largely a debunking, and much of his thesis boils down to the suggestion that, since scientists in the past have frequently believed things that have turned out not to be true unremarkable he cites phlogiston
as an example--we should always seek to question the current paradigm.
Even in natural philosophy, there is always some other explanation possible of the same facts; some geocentric theory instead of heliocentric, some phlogiston
instead of oxygen; and it has to be shown why that other theory cannot be the true one: and until this is shown, and until we know how it is shown, we do not understand the grounds of our opinion.
Economists, an entrenched block of theorists as impervious to facts as adherents of phrenology or the phlogiston
theory of combustion, will give you dozens of arguments against gold.
Chemists no longer talk of phlogiston
, geologists have a deep understanding of plate tectonics, Freudian psychoanalysis does not dominate departments of psychology, and what in English departments is often simply called theory would hardly be recognizable to 19th-century literary critics.
But many reject ground itself, seeing regimentation as yet another misguided attempt to regiment a bad idea (like phlogiston
It is as if he knows that phlogiston
has been refuted, but he still uses the language of phlogiston
in order to describe the basis of chemistry.
12) A running discussion on the doctrine of phlogiston
courses through several volumes with Joseph Priestley taking the affirmative side.
thus can be understood in the improved form through the word oxidation since phlogiston
was an attempt to explain combustion and rusting now explained through the process of oxidation.
For example, in the eighteenth century, the phlogiston
theory was almost universally accepted at the time and was the basis of the chemistry taught to college students then.
Dark energy has always reminded me of phlogiston
, or the ether.