If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support

Inconsistent Theories as Scientific Objectives

Dilip B. Madan
Philosophy of Science
Vol. 50, No. 3 (Sep., 1983), pp. 453-470
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/187859
Page Count: 18
  • Download PDF
  • Cite this Item

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support
Inconsistent Theories as Scientific Objectives
Preview not available

Abstract

Theories are conceptualized as predictors of phenomena using computable functions acting on prior world information. Formally, the concept of bounded prior world recursive function is defined and used as a candidate for a potential theory. An artificial world of fact is then constructed for which there exist two inconsistent best theories, in that they cannot be improved upon, and these theories are maximally inconsistent in that every best theory is a compromise. It is argued that in such a world the scientific objective would be to find these maximally inconsistent theories. The construction is motivated as an attempt to illustrate the status of theory in the social sciences and in economics, in particular.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
453
    453
  • Thumbnail: Page 
454
    454
  • Thumbnail: Page 
455
    455
  • Thumbnail: Page 
456
    456
  • Thumbnail: Page 
457
    457
  • Thumbnail: Page 
458
    458
  • Thumbnail: Page 
459
    459
  • Thumbnail: Page 
460
    460
  • Thumbnail: Page 
461
    461
  • Thumbnail: Page 
462
    462
  • Thumbnail: Page 
463
    463
  • Thumbnail: Page 
464
    464
  • Thumbnail: Page 
465
    465
  • Thumbnail: Page 
466
    466
  • Thumbnail: Page 
467
    467
  • Thumbnail: Page 
468
    468
  • Thumbnail: Page 
469
    469
  • Thumbnail: Page 
470
    470