Verisimilitude and belief change for nomic conjunctive theories

Synthese 190 (16):3307-3324 (2013)
Abstract
In this paper, we address the problem of truth approximation through theory change, asking whether revising our theories by newly acquired data leads us closer to the truth about a given domain. More particularly, we focus on “nomic conjunctive theories”, i.e., theories expressed as conjunctions of logically independent statements concerning the physical or, more generally, nomic possibilities and impossibilities of the domain under inquiry. We define both a comparative and a quantitative notion of the verisimilitude of such theories, and identify suitable conditions concerning the (partial) correctness of acquired data, under which revising our theories by data leads us closer to “the nomic truth”, construed as the target of scientific inquiry. We conclude by indicating some further developments, generalizations, and open issues arising from our results.
Keywords Nomic verisimilitude  Theory change  AGM belief change  Truthlikeness  Legisimilitude
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References found in this work BETA
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.

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