The language dependence of accuracy

Synthese 84 (1):59 - 95 (1990)
David Miller has demonstrated to the satisfaction of a variety of philosophers that the accuracy of false quantitative theories is language dependent (cf. Miller 1975). This demonstration renders the accuracy-based mode of comparison for such theories obsolete. The purpose of this essay is to supply an alternate basis for theory comparison which in this paper is deemed the knowledge-based mode of quantitative theory comparison. It is argued that the status of a quantitative theory as knowledge depends primarily on the soundness of the measurement procedure which produced the theory; such soundness is invariant, on my view, under Milleresque translations. This point is the basis for the linguistic invariance of knowledgelikeness. When the aim of science is not construed simply in terms of the truthlikeness or accuracy of theories, but in terms of the knowledge such theories embody, Miller's language dependence problem is overcome. One result of this analysis is that the possibility of objective scientific progress is restored, a possibility that Miller's analysis has prima facie defeated.
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DOI 10.1007/BF00485007
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References found in this work BETA
Peter Galison (1990). How Experiments End. Journal of Philosophy 87 (2):103-106.
David Miller (1974). Popper's Qualitative Theory of Verisimilitude. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 25 (2):166-177.

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