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Confirmation of Scientific Hypotheses as Relations

Aysel Dogan
Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie
Vol. 36, No. 2 (2005), pp. 243-259
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25171316
Page Count: 17
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Confirmation of Scientific Hypotheses as Relations
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Abstract

In spite of several attempts to explicate the relationship between a scientific hypothesis and evidence, the issue still cries for a satisfactory solution. Logical approaches to confirmation, such as the hypothetico-deductive method and the positive instance account of confirmation, are problematic because of their neglect of the semantic dimension of hypothesis confirmation. Probabilistic accounts of confirmation are no better than logical approaches in this regard. An outstanding probabilistic account of confirmation, the Bayesian approach, for instance, is found to be defective in that it treats evidence as a formal entity and this creates the problem of relevance of evidence to the hypothesis at issue, in addition to the difficulties arising from the subjective interpretation of probabilities. This essay purports to satisfy the need for a successful account of hypothesis confirmation by offering an original formulation based on the notion of instantiation of the relation urged by an hypothesis.

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