Why are good theories good? reflections on epistemic values, confirmation, and formal epistemology

Synthese 190 (9):1533-1553 (2013)
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Abstract

Franz Huber’s (2008a) attempt to unify inductivist and hypothetico-deductivist intuitions on confirmation by means of a single measure are examined and compared with previous work on the theory of verisimilitude or truthlikeness. The idea of connecting ‘the logic of confirmation’ with ‘the logic of acceptability’ is also critically discussed, and it is argued that ‘acceptability’ takes necessarily into account some pragmatic criteria, and that at least two normative senses of ‘acceptability’ must be distinguished: ‘acceptable’ in the sense of ‘being allowed to accept’, and ‘acceptable’ in the sense of ‘being obliged to accept’. Lastly, some connections of confirmation theory with naturalism, intertheoretic reduction, and explanation vs. understanding are explored.

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References found in this work

A Confutation of Convergent Realism.Larry Laudan - 1981 - Philosophy of Science 48 (1):19-49.
The Structure of Science.Ernest Nagel - 1961 - Les Etudes Philosophiques 17 (2):275-275.
A Confutation of Convergent Realism.Larry Laudan - 1980 - In Yuri Balashov & Alexander Rosenberg (eds.), Philosophy of Science: Contemporary Readings. Routledge. pp. 211.
Betting on Theories.Patrick Maher - 1993 - Cambridge, New York and Melbourne: Cambridge University Press.

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