In this paper, an attempt is made to solve various problems posed to current theories of verisimilitude: the problem of linguistic variance; the problem of which are the best scientific methods for getting the most verisimilar theories; and the question of the ontological commitment in scientific theories. As a result of my solution to these problems, and with the help of other considerations of epistemological character, I conclude that the notion of 'Tarskian truth' is dispensable in a rational interpretation of (...) the scientific enterprise. As a logical result, however, falsificationism will be vindicated. (shrink)
Recently, Rueger and Sharp (1996) and Koperski (1998) have been concerned to show that certain procedural accounts of model confirmation are compromised by non-linear dynamics. We suggest that the issues raised are better approached by considering whether chaotic data analysis methods allow for reliable inference from data. We provide a framework and an example of this approach.
An epistemic notion of verisimilitude (as the 'degree in which a theory seems closer to the full truth to a scientific community') is defined in several ways. Application to the structuralist description of theories is carried out by introducing a notion of 'empirical regularity' in structuralist terms. It is argued that these definitions of verisimilitude can be used to give formal reconstructions of scientific methodologies such as falsificationism, conventionalism and normal science.
Scientists can choose different claims as interpretations of the results of their research. Scientific rhetoric is understood as the attempt to make those claims most beneficial for the scientists' interests. A rational choice, game-theoretic model is developed to analyze how this choice can be made and to assess it from a normative point of view. The main conclusion is that `social' interests (pursuit of recognition) may conflict with `cognitive' ones when no constraints are put on the choices of the authors (...) of scientific papers, as in an `ideal free speech situation'. Scientific institutions may help to solve this conflict. Lastly, some empirical predictions are offered that can inspire future social research of the refereeing process. (shrink)
The scientist's decision of accepting a given proposition is assumed to be dependent on two factors: the scientist's 'private' information about the value of that statement and the proportion of colleagues who also accept it. This interdependence is modelled in an economic fashion, and it is shown that it may lead to multiple equilibria. The main conclusions are that the evolution of scientific knowledge can be path, dependent, that scientific revolutions can be due to very small changes in the empirical (...) evidence, and that not all possible equilibria are necessarily efficient, neither in the economic nor in the epistemic sense. These inefficiencies, however, can be eliminated if scientists can form coalitions. (shrink)
The decision whether to have a realist or an anti-realist attitude towards scientific hypotheses is interpreted in this paper as a choice that scientists themselves have to face in their work as scientists, rather than as a ‘philosophical’ problem. Scientists’ choices between realism and instrumentalism are interpreted in this paper with the help of two different conceptual tools: a deflationary semantics grounded in the inferentialist approach to linguistic practices developed by some authors, and an epistemic utility function that tries to (...) represent the cognitive preferences of scientists. The first tool is applied to two different questions traditionally related to the problem of scientific realism: the non-miracle argument, and the continuity of reference. The second one is applied to the problem of unconceived alternatives, and to the distinction between realist and instrumentalist attitudes towards scientific hypotheses. (shrink)
The connection between scientific knowledge and our empirical access to realityis not well explained within the structuralist approach to scientific theories. I arguethat this is due to the use of a semantics not rich enough from the philosophical pointof view. My proposal is to employ Sellars–Brandom's inferential semantics to understand how can scientific terms have empirical content, and Hintikka's game-theoretical semantics to analyse how can theories be empirically tested. The main conclusions are that scientific concepts gain their meaning through `basic (...) theories' grounded on `common sense, and that scientific method usually allows the pragmatic verification and falsification of scientific theories. (shrink)
Moulines’ arguments against several types of realism in his book Pluralidad y recursion are considered and a defence of scientific realism consistent with structuralism is offered as a plausible answer to Moulines’ criticisms.
The process of scientific investigation is reconstructed as a process of empirical approximation to the truth. This last concept is explicated as a combination of “degree of simmilarity between theory A and the strongest accepted empirical law at moment t” and the “degree of depth of this empirical law”. A number of methodological theorems are proved, and avision of science closer to sophisticated falsificationism is mathematically deduced from our definitions.