Philosophers' Imprint (forthcoming)

Authors
Finnur Dellsén
University of Iceland
Abstract
Many philosophers have argued that a hypothesis is better confirmed by some data if the hypothesis was not specifically designed to fit the data. ‘Prediction’, they argue, is superior to ‘accommodation’. Others deny that there is any epistemic advantage to prediction, and conclude that prediction and accommodation are epistemically on a par. This paper argues that there is a respect in which accommodation is superior to prediction. Specifically, the information that the data was accommodated rather than predicted suggests that the data is less likely to have been manipulated or fabricated, which in turn increases the likelihood that the hypothesis is correct in light of the data. In some cases, this epistemic advantage of accommodation may even outweigh whatever epistemic advantage there might be to prediction, making accommodation epistemically superior to prediction all things considered.
Keywords accommodation  prediction  uncertain evidence  data fraud
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References found in this work BETA

The Logic of Decision.Richard C. Jeffrey - 1965 - University of Chicago Press.
The Logic of Scientific Discovery.K. Popper - 1959 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 10 (37):55-57.
Inference to the Best Explanation.Peter Lipton - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (2):421-423.

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