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  1. Susan Haack (1987). Realism. Synthese 73 (2):275 - 299.
    Realism is multiply ambiguous. The central concern of Part 1 of this paper is to distinguish several of its many senses — four (Theoretical Realism, Cumulative Realism, Progressive Realism and Optimistic Realism) in which it refers to theses about the status of scientific theories, and five (Minimal Realism, Ambitious Absolutism, Transcendentalism, Nidealism, Scholastic Realism) in which it refers to theses about the nature of truth or truth-bearers. Because Realism has these several, largely independent, senses, the conventional wisdom that Tarski's theory (...)
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  2. Shelby D. Hunt (2011). Theory Status, Inductive Realism, and Approximate Truth: No Miracles, No Charades. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 25 (2):159 - 178.
    The concept of approximate truth plays a prominent role in most versions of scientific realism. However, adequately conceptualizing ?approximate truth? has proved challenging. This article argues that the goal of articulating the concept of approximate truth can be advanced by first investigating the processes by which science accords theories the status of accepted or rejected. Accordingly, this article uses a path diagram model as a visual heuristic for the purpose of showing the processes in science that are involved in determining (...)
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  3. Kevin T. Kelly & Clark Glymour (1989). Convergence to the Truth and Nothing but the Truth. Philosophy of Science 56 (2):185-220.
    One construal of convergent realism is that for each clear question, scientific inquiry eventually answers it. In this paper we adapt the techniques of formal learning theory to determine in a precise manner the circumstances under which this ideal is achievable. In particular, we define two criteria of convergence to the truth on the basis of evidence. The first, which we call EA convergence, demands that the theorist converge to the complete truth "all at once". The second, which we call (...)
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  4. Theo A. F. Kuipers (2005). Another Start for Abduction Aiming at Empirical Progress: Reply to Joke Meheus. Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities 83 (1):218-220.
    This paper primarily deals with the conceptual prospects for generalizing the aim of abduction from the standard one of explaining surprising or anomalous observations to that of empirical progress or even truth approximation. It turns out that the main abduction task then becomes the instrumentalist task of theory revision aiming at an empirically more successful theory, relative to the available data, but not necessarily compatible with them. The rest, that is, genuine empirical progress as well as observational, referential and theoretical (...)
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  5. Duncan Macintosh (1994). Partial Convergence and Approximate Truth. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 45 (1):153-170.
    Scientific Realists argue that it would be a miracle if scientific theories were getting more predictive without getting closer to the truth; so they must be getting closer to the truth. Van Fraassen, Laudan et al. argue that owing to the underdetermination of theory by data (UDT) for all we know, it is a miracle, a fluke. So we should not believe in even the approximate truth of theories. I argue that there is a test for who is right: suppose (...)
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  6. Irene Mikenberg, Newton C. A. Costdaa & Rolando Chuaqui (1986). Pragmatic Truth and Approximation to Truth. Journal of Symbolic Logic 51 (1):201-221.
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  7. Robert Northcott (2013). Verisimilitude: A Causal Approach. Synthese 190 (9):1471-1488.
    I present a new definition of verisimilitude, framed in terms of causes. Roughly speaking, according to it a scientific model is approximately true if it captures accurately the strengths of the causes present in any given situation. Against much of the literature, I argue that any satisfactory account of verisimilitude must inevitably restrict its judgments to context-specific models rather than general theories. We may still endorse—and only need—a relativized notion of scientific progress, understood now not as global advance but rather (...)
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  8. Graham Oddie (2013). The Content, Consequence and Likeness Approaches to Verisimilitude: Compatibility, Trivialization, and Underdetermination. Synthese 190 (9):1647-1687.
    Theories of verisimilitude have routinely been classified into two rival camps—the content approach and the likeness approach—and these appear to be motivated by very different sets of data and principles. The question thus naturally arises as to whether these approaches can be fruitfully combined. Recently Zwart and Franssen (Synthese 158(1):75–92, 2007) have offered precise analyses of the content and likeness approaches, and shown that given these analyses any attempt to meld content and likeness orderings violates some basic desiderata. Unfortunately their (...)
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  9. Gerard Renardel de Lavalette & Sjoerd Zwart (2011). Belief Revision and Verisimilitude Based on Preference and Truth Orderings. Erkenntnis 75 (2):237-254.
    In this rather technical paper we establish a useful combination of belief revision and verisimilitude according to which better theories provide better predictions, and revising with more verisimilar data results in theories that are closer to the truth. Moreover, this paper presents two alternative definitions of refined verisimilitude, which are more perspicuous than the algebraic version used in previous publications.
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  10. Lawrence Sklar (2000). Theory and Truth: Philosophical Critique Within Foundational Science. Oxford University Press.
    Skeptics have cast doubt on the idea that scientific theories give us a true picture of an objective world. Lawrence Sklar examines three kinds of skeptical arguments about scientific truth, and explores the important role they play within foundational science itself. Sklar demonstrates that these kinds of philosophical critique are employed within science, and reveals the clear difference between how they operate in a scientific context and more abstract philosophical contexts. The underlying theme of Theory and Truth is that science (...)
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  11. Joseph Wayne Smith (1984). What is Wrong with Verisimilitude. Philosophy Research Archives 10:511-541.
    Karl Popper introduced the idea of verisimilitude to explicate the intuitive idea that a theory T2, even though it is strictly speaking false, may be closer to the truth than a competitor T1. However, as is now well known, the results of Pavel Tichý, John Harris and David Miller establish that on Popper’s qualitative theory of verisimilitude, a theory T2 could be closer to the truth than another theory T1 only if T2 contains no false sentences. This result has been (...)
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  12. Peter Smith (1998). Approximate Truth and Dynamical Theories. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 49 (2):253-277.
    Arguably, there is no substantial, general answer to the question of what makes for the approximate truth of theories. But in one class of cases, the issue seems simply resolved. A wide class of applied dynamical theories can be treated as two-component theories—one component specifying a certain kind of abstract geometrical structure, the other giving empirical application to this structure by claiming that it replicates, subject to arbitrary scaling for units etc., the geometric structure to be found in some real-world (...)
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  13. D. C. Stove (1982). Popper and After: Four Modern Irrationalists. Pergamon Press.
  14. Paul Thagard (2007). Coherence, Truth, and the Development of Scientific Knowledge. Philosophy of Science 74 (1):28-47.
    What is the relation between coherence and truth? This paper rejects numerous answers to this question, including the following: truth is coherence; coherence is irrelevant to truth; coherence always leads to truth; coherence leads to probability, which leads to truth. I will argue that coherence of the right kind leads to at least approximate truth. The right kind is explanatory coherence, where explanation consists in describing mechanisms. We can judge that a scientific theory is progressively approximating the truth if it (...)
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  15. JesÚ Zamora Bonilla & P. S. (1999). Verisimilitude and the Scientific Strategy of Economic Theory. Journal of Economic Methodology 6 (3):331-350.
    Methodological norms in economic theorizing are interpreted as rational strategies to optimize some epistemic utility functions. A definition of ?empirical verisimilitude? is defended as a plausible interpretation of the epistemic preferences of researchers. Some salient differences between the scientific strategies of physics and of economics are derived from the comparison of the relative costs associated with each strategy. The classical discussion about the ?realism of assumptions? in economics is also considered under the light of the concept of ?empirical verisimilitude?
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Scientific Truth
  1. Marcello Boldrini (1972). Scientific Truth and Statistical Method. London,Griffin.
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  2. Joseph A. Buckhalt & Erica J. Gannon (2000). Scientific Truth and Perceived Truth About Sexual Human Nature: Implications for Therapists. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (4):595-596.
    Therapists and their patients must deal with the negative sequelae of short term mating strategies. Implications for therapy of Gangestad & Simpson's strategic pluralism theory are compared with those of Buss's sexual strategies theory and Eagly's social role theory. Naive theories held by therapists and patients, as well as prevailing societal views, are posited as influential in determining the course and outcome of therapy.
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  3. Louis Caruana, Extrapolation and Scientific Truth.
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  4. J. Dunning-Davies (2007). Exploding a Myth: "Conventional Wisdom" or Scientific Truth? Horwood.
    In this book Jeremy Dunning-Davies deals with the influence that "conventional wisdom" has on science, scientific research and development. He sets out to explode' the mythical conception that all scientific topics are open for free discussion and argues that no-one can openly raise questions about relativity, dispute the 'Big Bang' theory, or the existence of black holes, which all seem to be accepted facts of science rather than science fiction. In today's modern climate with "Britain's radioactive refuse heap already big (...)
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  5. J. H. Goldstein (1962). Scientific Truth and the Scientific Method. In Thomas J. J. Altizer (ed.), Truth, Myth, and Symbol. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.Prentice-Hall.
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  6. Charles Hartshorne (1935). Flexibility of Scientific Truth. Philosophy of Science 2 (2):255-256.
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  7. Stephen Leeds (2007). Correspondence Truth and Scientific Realism. Synthese 159 (1):1 - 21.
    I argue that one good reason for Scientific Realists to be interested in correspondence theories is the hope they offer us of being able to state and defend realistic theses in the face of well-known difficulties about modern physics: such theses as, that our theories are approximately true, or that they will tend to approach the truth. I go on to claim that this hope is unlikely to be fulfilled. I suggest that Realism can still survive in the face of (...)
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  8. Uskali Mäki (2011). Models and the Locus of Their Truth. Synthese 180 (1):47 - 63.
    If models can be true, where is their truth located? Giere (Explaining science, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1998) has suggested an account of theoretical models on which models themselves are not truth-valued. The paper suggests modifying Giere’s account without going all the way to purely pragmatic conceptions of truth—while giving pragmatics a prominent role in modeling and truth-acquisition. The strategy of the paper is to ask: if I want to relocate truth inside models, how do I get it, what (...)
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  9. Henry Margenau (1934). Flexibility of Scientific Truth. Philosophy of Science 1 (4):486-487.
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  10. Nicholas Rescher (1980). Scientific Truth and the Arbitrament of Praxis. Noûs 14 (1):59-74.
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  11. Ilse Rosenthal-Schneider (1980). Reality and Scientific Truth: Discussions with Einstein, Von Laue, and Planck. Wayne State University Press.
  12. Howard Sankey (2000). Est-il rationnel de chercher la vérité? Revue Philosophique De Louvain 98 (3):589-602.
    This paper addresses the question of whether it is rational for scientists to pursue the realist aim of truth. The point of departure is a pair of objections to the aim of truth due to the anti-realist author, Larry Laudan: first, it is not rational to pursue an aim such as truth which we cannot know we have reached; second, truth is not a legitimate aim for science because it cannot be shown to be attained. Against Laudan, it is argued (...)
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  13. R. P. Saraf (1973). Scientific Dialectics: The Revolutionary Scientific Truth to Correctly Know and Change the World. S.N..
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  14. Laura J. Snyder (1994). It's All Necessarily So: William Whewell on Scientific Truth. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 25 (5):785-807.
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  15. F. Zwicky (1934). On the Principle of the Flexibility of Scientific Truth. Philosophy of Science 1 (3):353-358.
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Verisimilitude
  1. Joseph Agassi, Agassi, Verisimilitude, P.
    The idea of verisimilitude is implicit in the writings of Albert Einstein ever since 1905, when he declared the distribution of field energy according to Maxwell's theory an approximation to that according to quantum-radiation theory, and Newtonian kinetic energy an approximation to his relativistic mass-energy. All his life Einstein presented new ideas as yielding older established ones as special cases and first approximations. The news has reached the philosophical community via the writings of Sir Karl Popper half-a-century after Einstein's (...)
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  2. Joseph Agassi (1981). To Save Verisimilitude. Mind 90 (360):576-579.
    JOSEPH AGASSI 1. Sir Karl Popper has offered two different theories of scientific progress, his theory of conjectures and refutations and corroboration, as well as his theory of verisimilitude increase. The former was attacked by some old-fashioned inductivists, yet is triumphant; the latter has been refuted by Tichy and by Miller to Popper’s own satisfaction. Oddly, however, the theory of verisimilitude was developed because of some deficiency in the theory of corroboration, and though in its present precise formulation it was (...)
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  3. Joseph Agassi (1975). Verisimilitude: Comment on David Miller. Synthese 30 (1-2):199 - 204.
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  4. Jerrold L. Aronson (1997). Truth, Verisimilitude, and Natural Kinds. Philosophical Papers 26 (1):71-104.
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  5. Jerrold L. Aronson (1990). Verisimilitude and Type Hierarchies. Philosophical Topics 18 (2):5-28.
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  6. Eric Barnes (1995). Truthlikeness, Translation, and Approximate Causal Explanation. Philosophy of Science 62 (2):215-226.
    D. Miller's demonstrations of the language dependence of truthlikeness raise a profound problem for the claim that scientific progress is objective. In two recent papers (Barnes 1990, 1991) I argue that the objectivity of progress may be grounded on the claim that the aim of science is not merely truth but knowledge; progress thus construed is objective in an epistemic sense. In this paper I construct a new solution to Miller's problem grounded on the notion of "approximate causal explanation" which (...)
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  7. Eric Barnes (1991). Beyond Verisimilitude: A Linguistically Invariant Basis for Scientific Progress. Synthese 88 (3):309 - 339.
    This paper proposes a solution to David Miller's Minnesotan-Arizonan demonstration of the language dependence of truthlikeness (Miller 1974), along with Miller's first-order demonstration of the same (Miller 1978). It is assumed, with Peter Urbach, that the implication of these demonstrations is that the very notion of truthlikeness is intrinsically language dependent and thus non-objective. As such, truthlikeness cannot supply a basis for an objective account of scientific progress. I argue that, while Miller is correct in arguing that the number of (...)
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  8. Eric Barnes (1990). The Language Dependence of Accuracy. Synthese 84 (1):59 - 95.
    David Miller has demonstrated to the satisfaction of a variety of philosophers that the accuracy of false quantitative theories is language dependent (cf. Miller 1975). This demonstration renders the accuracy-based mode of comparison for such theories obsolete. The purpose of this essay is to supply an alternate basis for theory comparison which in this paper is deemed the knowledge-based mode of quantitative theory comparison. It is argued that the status of a quantitative theory as knowledge depends primarily on the soundness (...)
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  9. Chris Brink (1989). Verisimilitude: Views and Reviews. History and Philosophy of Logic 10 (2):181-201.
    This paper is both a survey and a review of the current state of the debate concerning verisimilitude. As a survey it is intended for the interested outsider who wants both easy access to and some comparison between the respective approaches. As a review it covers the first three books on the topic: those of Oddie. Niiniluoto and Kuipers.
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  10. Chris Brink & Johannes Heidema (1991). Verisimilitude by Power Relations: A Response to Oddie. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 42 (1):101-104.
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  11. T. Britton (2004). The Problem of Verisimilitude and Counting Partially Identical Properties. Synthese 141 (1):77 - 95.
    In this paper I propose a solution to the qualitative version of David Miller's verisimilitude reversal argument. Miller (1974) shows that verisimilitude rankings are relative to language choice and hence, are not objective. My solution stems from a reply to an earlier solution proposed by Eric Barnes (1991). Barnes argues that the verisimilitude reversal problem can be solved by revealing an epistemic dimension. I show that Miller's problem cannot be solved by side-stepping foundational metaphysical claims as his epistemic solution suggests. (...)
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  12. Katarina Britz & Chris Brink (1995). Computing Verisimilitude. Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 36 (1):30-43.
    This paper continues the power ordering approach to verisimilitude. We define a parameterized verisimilar ordering of theories in the finite propositional case, both semantically and syntactically. The syntactic definition leads to an algorithm for computing verisimilitude. Since the power ordering approach to verisimilitude can be translated into a standard notion of belief revision, the algorithm thereby also allows the computation of membership of a belief-revised theory.
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  13. Robert Burch (2010). If Universes Were as Plenty as Blackberries: Peirce on Induction and Verisimilitude. Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 46 (3):423-452.
    In 1910, only four years before his death, Peirce began an adumbration of a life's worth of major results concerning nondeductive logic—results that he had reached after more than forty-five years of extremely careful and detailed investigations2—as follows: "I must premiss that we, all of us, use this word ["probability"] with a degree of laxity which corrupts and rots our reasoning to a degree that very few of us are at all awake to."3 Peirce continued the adumbration by outlining his (...)
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  14. Isabella C. Burger & Johannes Heidema (2005). For Better, for Worse: Comparative Orderings on States and Theories. Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities 83 (1):459-488.
    In logic, including the designer logics of artificial intelligence, and in the philosophy of science, one is often concerned with qualitative, comparative orderings on the states of a system, or on theories expressing information about the system. States may be compared with respect to normality, or some preference criterium, or similarity to some given (set of) state(s). Theories may be compared with respect to logical power, or to truthlikeness, or to how well they capture certain information. We explain a number (...)
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  15. Gustavo Cevolani (2013). Truth Approximation Via Abductive Belief Change. Logic Journal of the Igpl 21 (6):999-1016.
    We investigate the logical and conceptual connections between abductive reasoning construed as a process of belief change, on the one hand, and truth approximation, construed as increasing (estimated) verisimilitude, on the other. We introduce the notion of ‘(verisimilitude-guided) abductive belief change’ and discuss under what conditions abductively changing our theories or beliefs does lead them closer to the truth, and hence tracks truth approximation conceived as the main aim of inquiry. The consequences of our analysis for some recent discussions concerning (...)
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  16. Gustavo Cevolani (2011). Strongly Semantic Information and Verisimilitude. Etica and Politica / Ethics and Politics (2):159-179.
    In The Philosophy of Information, Luciano Floridi presents a theory of “strongly semantic information”, based on the idea that “information encapsulates truth” (the so-called “veridicality thesis”). Starting with Popper, philosophers of science have developed different explications of the notion of verisimilitude or truthlikeness, construed as a combination of truth and information. Thus, the theory of strongly semantic information and the theory of verisimilitude are intimately tied. Yet, with few exceptions, this link has virtually pass unnoticed. In this paper, we briefly (...)
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  17. Gustavo Cevolani & Francesco Calandra (2010). Approaching the Truth Via Belief Change in Propositional Languages. In M. Suàrez, M. Dorato & M. Rèdei (eds.), Epsa Epistemology and Methodology of Science: Launch of the European Philosophy of Science Association. Springer. 47--62.
    Starting from the sixties of the past century theory change has become a main concern of philosophy of science. Two of the best known formal accounts of theory change are the post-Popperian theories of verisimilitude (PPV for short) and the AGM theory of belief change (AGM for short). In this paper, we will investigate the conceptual relations between PPV and AGM and, in particular, we will ask whether the AGM rules for theory change are effective means for approaching the truth, (...)
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  18. Gustavo Cevolani, Vincenzo Crupi & Roberto Festa, A Verisimilitudinarian Analysis of the Linda Paradox. VII Conference of the Spanish Society for Logic, Methodology and Philosphy of Science.
    The Linda paradox is a key topic in current debates on the rationality of human reasoning and its limitations. We present a novel analysis of this paradox, based on the notion of verisimilitude as studied in the philosophy of science. The comparison with an alternative analysis based on probabilistic confirmation suggests how to overcome some problems of our account by introducing an adequately defined notion of verisimilitudinarian confirmation.
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  19. Gustavo Cevolani, Vincenzo Crupi & Roberto Festa (2011). Verisimilitude and Belief Change for Conjunctive Theories. Erkenntnis 75 (2):183-202.
    Theory change is a central concern in contemporary epistemology and philosophy of science. In this paper, we investigate the relationships between two ongoing research programs providing formal treatments of theory change: the (post-Popperian) approach to verisimilitude and the AGM theory of belief change. We show that appropriately construed accounts emerging from those two lines of epistemological research do yield convergences relative to a specified kind of theories, here labeled “conjunctive”. In this domain, a set of plausible conditions are identified which (...)
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  20. Gustavo Cevolani, Vincenzo Crupi & Roberto Festa (2010). The Whole Truth About Linda: Probability, Verisimilitude and a Paradox of Conjunction. In Marcello D'Agostino, Federico Laudisa, Giulio Giorello, Telmo Pievani & Corrado Sinigaglia (eds.), New Essays in Logic and Philosophy of Science. College Publications. 603--615.
    We provide a 'verisimilitudinarian' analysis of the well-known Linda paradox or conjunction fallacy, i.e., the fact that most people judge the probability of the conjunctive statement "Linda is a bank teller and is active in the feminist movement" (B & F) as more probable than the isolated statement "Linda is a bank teller" (B), contrary to an uncontroversial principle of probability theory. The basic idea is that experimental participants may judge B & F a better hypothesis about Linda as compared (...)
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