Philosophy 70 (273):429 - 435 (1995)

At the seventh international congress of Logic, Methodology, and Philosophy of Science, held at Salzburg in 1983, I was talking with John Searle when I glanced at my watch and exclaimed, I must run. I'm due to solve the problem of induction at 2.15. ‘Yes,’ he replied, I must go too; I'm due to solve the mind-body problem. I don't know how seriously he meant his remark, but I did actually believe that I had cracked this old problem in the Epilogue of my Science and Scepticism,1 the manuscript of which was then with the publisher. In that book I drew a sharp distinction between the problem which faces a theoretical scientist trying to select, out of several competing theories, the one that best fulfils the aim of science, and the pragmatic problem which faces an applied scientist or practical decision-maker trying to select, out of several competing hypotheses, the one that offers the best guidance. I had what I still regard as a viable solution to the theoreticians problem. It aid that theoreticians should prefer that theory, if there is one, that is the best corroborated; for on a certain non-trivial but uncontroversial assumption about what kinds of test have been made, the best corroborated theory will best satisfy what I claimed to be the optimum aim for science: it will be deeper and wider than its rivals and, moreover, possibly true, given all the reported outcomes of tests in its field. For present purposes we can forget the explications I offered for ‘deeper’ and ‘wider’. As to ‘possibly true’: this reflects the abandonment of hopes that science can arrive at theories that are certainly true, or at least have a high probability of being true, or at the very least have had their probability raised by the experimental evidence.
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DOI 10.1017/S0031819100065608
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O Filozofii vedy z pohľadu kritického racionalizmu.John Watkins & T. SEDOVÁ - 2001 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 8 (1):197-213.

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