Better theories

Philosophy of Science 42 (1):20-27 (1975)
Abstract
It is argued that a better theory neither (I) proves better at enabling us to realize our goals, nor (II) enables us to make more accurate predictions than a worse theory. (I) fails because it, tacitly, erroneously assumes, in talking of our goals, that individual preferences for theories can be aggregated into a social preference ordering; (II) fails because it cannot distinguish between important and unimportant predictions. Neither of these failures can be patched up by appealing to the notion of a true theory. The conclusion is that we as yet possess no adequate understanding of the relationships among theoretical progress, goal realization, and predictive accuracy
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