The scientists' criterion of true observation

Philosophy of Science 30 (1):41-52 (1963)
A theory of true observation is developed as a generalization of the method of inter-observer agreement that scientists use to determine the objectivity and reliability of observations. A true observation is defined as a statement included in a set of statements in which there is statistical dependence and perfect agreement between the statements made by a universe of experimentally independent persons. Meaningfulness--the existence of an objective referent--for each form of statement included in the set is inferred from statistical dependence, correct meaning within the universe of observers from the absence of disagreement. In this theory truth is inferred from a spatio-temporal pattern of statements as behavior rather than from the traditional correspondence between observation and object or logical relationships among statements
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DOI 10.1086/287910
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