One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
verb[with object]usually be underdetermined
Account for (a theory or phenomenon) with less than the amount of evidence needed for proof or certainty.‘most cosmological theories are underdetermined by the facts’
- ‘Periods of transition are underdetermined and our tools for the study of such processes are necessarily insufficient.’
- ‘In every case, he will claim, all the evidence we will ever have radically underdetermines what it would be true or even justifiable to believe.’
- ‘Generalizing, we might say that just as points underdetermine equations, so facts underdetermine theories.’
- ‘A child's linguistic abilities appear to be radically underdetermined by the evidence of verbal behavior offered to the child in the short period in which he or she expresses those abilities.’
- ‘In practice, of course, the evidence available will often underdetermine the identification of the desires and beliefs operative in a given course of action.’
- ‘Hence, theory choice is underdetermined by evidence.’
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