Bootstrapping and content parts

Erkenntnis 64 (3):345 - 370 (2006)
Christensen [Philosophy of Science, 50: 471–481, 1983] and [Philosophy of Science, 57: 644–662, 1990] provides two sets of counter-examples to the versions of bootstrap confirmation for standard first-order languages presented in Glymour [Theory and Evidence, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1980] and [Philosophy of Science, 50: 626–629, 1983]. This paper responds to the counter-examples of Christensen [Philosophy of Science, 50: 471–481, 1983] by utilizing a new notion of content introduced in Gemes [Journal of Philosophical Logic, 26, 449–476, 1997]. It is claimed that this response is better motivated and more effective than that presented in Glymour [Philosophy of Science, 50: 626–629, 1983]. It is then argued that while this response meets some of the counter-examples of Christensen [Philosophy of Science, 57: 644–662, 1990] two of those counter-examples, though not unanswerable, suggest the need for a substantial reformulation of the formal versions of bootstrapping. The essay proceeds with such a reformulation, arguing that this new formulation better fits the philosophical insights that originally motivated bootstrapping than do Glymour’s earlier formulations. In the concluding sections some alternative solutions to the problem posed by the Christensen counter-examples are discussed.
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    Ken Gemes (1994). A New Theory of Content I: Basic Content. [REVIEW] Journal of Philosophical Logic 23 (6):595 - 620.

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