David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophical Studies 67 (2):151 - 167 (1992)
Two notions of evidence are focused on in this essay, Carnap's positive-relevance notion of evidence (1962, pp. 462 ff.), and Achinstein's notion of potential evidence (1978; and 1983, pp. 322–350). Achinstein creates several interesting examples in his attempt to find faults in Carnap's notion of evidence; his motive, ultimately, is to impel us towards potential evidence. The purpose of this essay is to show that positive relevance is significantly more promising than potential evidence with respect to capturing the scientific sense of the term evidence. This is accomplished by finding faults in the notion of potential evidence, and by defending positive relevance against Achinstein's examples.
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