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Empirical and Rational Components in Scientific Confirmation

Abner Shimony
PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association
Vol. 1994, Volume Two: Symposia and Invited Papers (1994), pp. 146-155
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/192925
Page Count: 10
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Empirical and Rational Components in Scientific Confirmation
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Abstract

Some desiderata for scientific confirmation are formulated in the light of a tentative scientific world view. Bayesian confirmation theories generically satisfy most of these desiderata, but one of them, "the strategy of ascent," fits best in a tempered personalist version of Bayesianism. There are both empirical and rational components, dialectically combined, in tempered personalism. The question of explanation vs. prediction is treated in a Bayesian manner, and it is found that both operations are susceptible to characteristic systematic errors. If these are eliminated, however, then explanation and prediction provide equally good evidential support for hypotheses.

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