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An Orthodox Statistical Resolution of the Paradox of Confirmation

Ronald N. Giere
Philosophy of Science
Vol. 37, No. 3 (Sep., 1970), pp. 354-362
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/186464
Page Count: 9
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An Orthodox Statistical Resolution of the Paradox of Confirmation
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Abstract

Several authors, e.g. Patrick Suppes and I. J. Good, have recently argued that the paradox of confirmation can be resolved within the developing subjective Bayesian account of inductive reasoning. The aim of this paper is to show that the paradox can also be resolved by the rival orthodox account of hypothesis testing currently employed by most statisticians and scientists. The key to the orthodox statistical resolution is the rejection of a generalized version of Hempel's instantiation condition, namely, the condition that a PQ is inductively relevant to the hypothesis $(x)(Px\supset Qx)$ even in the absence of all further information. Though their reasons differ, it turns out that Bayesian and orthodox statisticians agree that this condition lies at the heart of the paradox.

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