Zwart and Franssen's impossibility theorem holds for possible-world-accounts but not for consequence-accounts to verisimilitude
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Synthese 172 (3):415 - 436 (2010)
Zwart and Franssen’s impossibility theorem reveals a conflict between the possible-world-based content-definition and the possible-world-based likeness-definition of verisimilitude. In Sect. 2 we show that the possible-world-based content-definition violates four basic intuitions of Popper’s consequence-based content-account to verisimilitude, and therefore cannot be said to be in the spirit of Popper’s account, although this is the opinion of some prominent authors. In Sect. 3 we argue that in consequence-accounts , content-aspects and likeness-aspects of verisimilitude are not in conflict with each other, but in agreement . We explain this fact by pointing towards the deep difference between possible-world- and the consequence-accounts, which does not lie in the difference between syntactic (object-language) versus semantic (meta-language) formulations, but in the difference between ‘disjunction-of-possible-worlds’ versus ‘conjunction-of-parts’ representations of theories. Drawing on earlier work, we explain in Sect. 4 how the shortcomings of Popper’s original definition can be repaired by what we call the relevant element approach. We propose a quantitative likeness-definition of verisimilitude based on relevant elements which provably agrees with the qualitative relevant content-definition of verisimilitude on all pairs of comparable theories. We conclude the paper with a plea for consequence-accounts and a brief analysis of the problem of language-dependence (Sect. 6).
|Keywords||Verisimilitude Truthlikeness Content-definition of verisimilitude Likeness-definition of verisimilitude Possible-world-accounts to verisimilitude Consequence-accounts to verisimilitude|
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References found in this work BETA
Karl R. Popper (1972). Objective Knowledge. Oxford,Clarendon Press.
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Graham Oddie (2014). Truthlikeness. Stanford Encyclopedia.
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Citations of this work BETA
Gustavo Cevolani & Luca Tambolo (2013). Progress as Approximation to the Truth: A Defence of the Verisimilitudinarian Approach. Erkenntnis 78 (4):921-935.
Gustavo Cevolani, Vincenzo Crupi & Roberto Festa (2011). Verisimilitude and Belief Change for Conjunctive Theories. Erkenntnis 75 (2):183-202.
Gustavo Cevolani & Gerhard Schurz (forthcoming). Probability, Approximate Truth, and Truthlikeness: More Ways Out of the Preface Paradox. Australasian Journal of Philosophy:1-17.
Graham Oddie (2013). The Content, Consequence and Likeness Approaches to Verisimilitude: Compatibility, Trivialization, and Underdetermination. Synthese 190 (9):1647-1687.
Gustavo Cevolani, Roberto Festa & Theo A. F. Kuipers (2013). Verisimilitude and Belief Change for Nomic Conjunctive Theories. Synthese 190 (16):3307-3324.
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