Dynamics of Theory Change: The Role of Predictions

The thesis that scientists give greater weight to novel predictions than to explanations of known facts is tested against historical cases in physical science. Several theories were accepted after successful novel predictions but there is little evidence that extra credit was given for novelty. Other theories were rejected despite, or accepted without, making successful novel predictions. No examples were found of theories that were accepted primarily because of successful novel predictions and would not have been accepted if those facts had been previously known.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.2307/192924
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,667
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Samuel Schindler (2014). Novelty, Coherence, and Mendeleev’s Periodic Table. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 45 (1):62-69.
Heather Douglas & P. D. Magnus (2013). State of the Field: Why Novel Prediction Matters. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (4):580-589.
Samuel Schindler (2008). Use-Novel Predictions and Mendeleev's Periodic Table: Response To. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 39 (2):265-269.
Antonio Diéguez-Lucena (2006). Why Does Laudan's Confutation of Convergent Realism Fail? Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 37 (2):393 - 403.

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Roger C. Buck (1963). Reflexive Predictions. Philosophy of Science 30 (4):359-369.
G. S. (1999). Dynamics of Theory Change in Chemistry: Part 1. The Benzene Problem 1865-1945. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 30 (1):21-79.
Gordon N. Fleming (1992). The Objectivity and Invariance of Quantum Predictions. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1992:104 - 113.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

25 ( #121,735 of 1,727,257 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

5 ( #136,556 of 1,727,257 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.