Confirmation and explaining how possible

Confirmation in evolutionary biology depends on what biologists take to be the genuine rivals. Investigating what constrains the scope of biological possibility provides part of the story: explaining how possible helps determine what counts as a genuine rival and thus informs confirmation. To clarify the criteria for genuine rivalry I distinguish between global and local constraints on biological possibility, and offer an account of how-possibly explanation. To sharpen the connection between confirmation and explaining how possible I discuss the view that formal inquiry can provide a kind of confirmation-theoretic support for evolutionary models, and offer an example of how-possibly explanation interacting with testing practice.
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DOI 10.1016/j.shpsc.2009.12.006
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Michael Weisberg (2006). Robustness Analysis. Philosophy of Science 73 (5):730-742.

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