The logic of success

The problem of induction reminds us that science cannot wait for empirical hypotheses to be verified and Duhem’s problem reminds us that we cannot expect full refutations either. We must settle for something less. The shape of this something less depends on which features of full verification and refutation we choose to emphasize. If we conceive of verification and refutation as arguments in which evidence entails the hypothesis or its negation, then the central problem of the philosophy of science is to explicate a relation of confirmation or support that is weaker than full entailment but which serves, nonetheless, to justify empirical conclusions.
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