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An Application of Information Theory to the Problem of the Scientific Experiment

Massimiliano Badino
Synthese
Vol. 140, No. 3 (Jun., 2004), pp. 355-389
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20118461
Page Count: 35
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An Application of Information Theory to the Problem of the Scientific Experiment
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Abstract

There are two basic approaches to the problem of induction: the empirical one, which deems that the possibility of induction depends on how the world was made (and how it works) and the logical one, which considers the formation (and function) of language. The first is closer to being useful for induction, while the second is more rigorous and clearer. The purpose of this paper is to create an empirical approach to induction that contains the same formal exactitude as the logical approach. This requires: (a) that the empirical conditions for the induction are enunciated and (b) that the most important results already obtained from inductive logic are again demonstrated to be valid. Here we will be dealing only with induction by elimination, namely the analysis of the experimental confutation of a theory. The result will be a rule of refutation that takes into consideration all of the empirical aspect of the experiment and has each of the asymptotic properties which inductive logic has shown to be characteristic of induction.

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