Novelty, severity, and history in the testing of hypotheses: The case of the top quark

Philosophy of Science 63 (3):255 (1996)
It is sometimes held that facts confirm a hypothesis only if they were not used in the construction of that hypothesis. This requirement of "use novelty" introduces a historical aspect into the assessment of evidence claims. I examine a methodological principle invoked by physicists in the experimental search for the top quark that bears a striking resemblance to this view. However, this principle is better understood, both historically and philosophically, in terms of the need to conduct a severe test than in terms of use novelty. Nevertheless, a historical factor remains in the assessment of some evidence claims
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DOI 10.1086/289958
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