Prediction and prejudice

Abstract Evidence that supports a theory may be available to the scientist who constructs the theory and used as a guide to that construction, or it may only be discovered in the course of testing the theory. The central claim of this essay is that information about whether the evidence was accommodated or predicted affects the rational degree of confidence one ought to have in the theory. Only when the evidence is accommodated is there some reason to believe that the theoretical system was ?fudged? to fit the evidence in a way that weakens support. This weakening is an objective matter, but not one that can be conclusively determined by examining the contents of the theory and its logical relationship to the evidence. Consequently, there is less reason to believe a theory on the basis of that evidence when it is known that the evidence was accommodated than there would be if it was known instead that the same evidence had been predicted
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DOI 10.1080/02698599008573345
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Michael Michael (2008). On the Validity of Freud's Dream Interpretations. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 39 (1):52-64.
Tim Lewens (2008). In Memoriam: Peter Lipton. Philosophy of Science 75 (2):133-139.

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