Reichenbach's concept of prediction

Reichenbach emphasizes the central importance of prediction, which is—for him—the principal aim of science. This paper offers a critical reconstruction of his concept of prediction, taking into account the different periods of his thought. First, prediction is studied as a key factor in rejecting the positivism of the Vienna Circle. This part of the discussion concentres on the general features of prediction before Experience and Prediction (EP) (section 1). Second, prediction is considered in the context of Reichenbach's disagreements with his contemporaries—Carnap and Popper—(section 2). Pointing out these differences gives an additional basis for understanding how Reichenbach saw “prediction” in the period when EP was written. Third, Reichenbach's theoretical framework of prediction is analysed following EP. This analysis studies the semantical, logical, epistemological and methodological bases of his concept of prediction (section 3). Fourth, Reichenbach's conception of prediction, based on an objectivist interpretation of probabilities, is compared with the perspective on prediction of subjective Bayesians (the present personalists). This comparison (section 4) illustrates Reichenbach's views regarding the links of prediction with probability. Fifth, innovations and elements of continuity after EP are noted which give a more complete picture of Reichenbach's thought on prediction (section 5). This contributes to a comprehensive characterization of his concept of prediction. Finally, there is an assessment of his whole view of the matter and a presentation of the ingredients for a satisfactory alternative (section 6).
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/02698599508573505
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,316
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Peter Spirtes, Clark Glymour & Richard Scheines (1996). Causation, Prediction, and Search. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 47 (1):113-123.

View all 25 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

25 ( #189,667 of 1,932,585 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #456,398 of 1,932,585 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.