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.
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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.
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.
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.

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