Synthese 197 (10):4341-4363 (2020)

Authors
Florian J. Boge
Bergische Universität Wuppertal
Abstract
Howson famously argues that the no-miracles argument, stating that the success of science indicates the approximate truth of scientific theories, is a base rate fallacy: it neglects the possibility of an overall low rate of true scientific theories. Recently a number of authors has suggested that the corresponding probabilistic reconstruction is unjust, as it concerns only the success of one isolated theory. Dawid and Hartmann, in particular, suggest to use the frequency of success in some field of research \ to infer a probability of truth for a new theory from \. I here shed doubts on the justification of this and similar moves and suggest a way to directly bound the probability of truth. As I will demonstrate, my bound can become incompatible with the assumption specific testing and Dawid and Hartmann’s estimate for success.
Keywords Base rate fallacy  No miracles argument  Scientific realism  Inductive skepticism
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-018-01925-9
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References found in this work BETA

Logical Foundations of Probability.Rudolf Carnap - 1950 - Chicago, IL, USA: Chicago University of Chicago Press.
Laws and Symmetry.Bas C. van Fraassen - 1989 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
The Scientific Image.William Demopoulos & Bas C. van Fraassen - 1982 - Philosophical Review 91 (4):603.

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Citations of this work BETA

Incompatibility and the Pessimistic Induction: A Challenge for Selective Realism.Florian J. Boge - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (2):1-31.

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