The inductive argument from the falsity of most past scientific theories (more than 100 years old) to the falsity of most present ones is defensible, I argue, if it is modified to account for the degrees of theoreticity or observationality in such theories, and the extent to which they are hedged. The case of descriptive astronomy is examined to show that most of the true theories of the 1890s were high in observationality and/or significantly hedged. The false theories of that period, however, were not even approximately true. Apparently, scientists are more interested in supplanting theories with improved observations than in producing true theories.
Keywords Realism   Philosophy of Science
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DOI 10.1093/bjps/45.1.171
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References found in this work BETA

How the Laws of Physics Lie.Nancy Cartwright - 1983 - Oxford University Press.
Fact, Fiction, and Forecast.Nelson Goodman - 1955 - Harvard University Press.

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