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The Significance of Verisimilitude

Ilkka Niiniluoto
PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association
Vol. 1984, Volume Two: Symposia and Invited Papers (1984), pp. 591-613
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/192528
Page Count: 23
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The Significance of Verisimilitude
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Abstract

The concept of verisimilitude is an indispensable tool for the fallibilist and realist epistemology. Part of the argument for this thesis consists in the important applications of this notion within the history and philosophy of science. But perhaps the harder part is to convince a sceptical reader of the existence of this concept. A general programme for defining and estimating degrees of truthlikeness for various kinds of scientific statements is outlined in some detail. Ten years after Miller's and Tichy's refutation of Popper's attempted definition, this paper reviews recent developments and debates, and concludes that the treatment the Popperian problem with Carnapian logical tools leads to a new synthesis which turns out to formally contain Levi's theory of epistemic utilities as a special case.

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