Novel evidence and severe tests

Philosophy of Science 58 (4):523-552 (1991)
While many philosophers of science have accorded special evidential significance to tests whose results are "novel facts", there continues to be disagreement over both the definition of novelty and why it should matter. The view of novelty favored by Giere, Lakatos, Worrall and many others is that of use-novelty: An accordance between evidence e and hypothesis h provides a genuine test of h only if e is not used in h's construction. I argue that what lies behind the intuition that novelty matters is the deeper intuition that severe tests matter. I set out a criterion of severity akin to the notion of a test's power in Neyman-Pearson statistics. I argue that tests which are use-novel may fail to be severe, and tests that are severe may fail to be use-novel. I discuss the 1919 eclipse data as a severe test of Einstein's law of gravity
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 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: 9,357
External links
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA
    Samuel Schindler (2008). Use-Novel Predictions and Mendeleev's Periodic Table: Response To. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 39 (2):265-269.
    David Harker (2008). On the Predilections for Predictions. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 59 (3):429-453.

    View all 11 citations

    Similar books and articles

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index


    Total downloads

    15 ( #90,339 of 1,088,810 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    1 ( #69,666 of 1,088,810 )

    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.