Cliometric metatheory III: Peircean consensus, verisimilitude and asymptotic method

Abstract
Statistical procedures can be applied to episodes in the history of science in order to weight attributes to predict short-term survival of theories; an asymptotic method is used to show that short-term survival is a valid proxy for ultimate survival; and a theoretical argument is made that ultimate survival is a valid proxy for objective truth. While realists will appreciate this last step, instrumentalists do not need it to benefit from the actuarial procedures of cliometric metatheory. Introduction A plausible proxy for Peircean consensus Assessing the validity of theory attributes as predictors of theory survival 3.1 Linear discriminant function 3.2 Factor analysis 3.3 Taxometric analysis Verisimilitude index Satisfying both instrumentalists and realists Recapitulation Implementation of cliometric metatheory * Correspondence about this article may be addressed to Leslie Yonce at pemeehle{at}umn.edu' + u + '@' + d + ''//--> This article had been completed by Paul Meehl at the time of his death on 14 February 2003. His wife, Leslie J. Yonce, is grateful to Keith Gunderson (University of Minnesota, Center for Philosophy of Science) and Niels G. Waller (Psychology Department, Vanderbilt University) for advice with some final editing details.
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