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  1. The Relativity of Theory by Moti Mizrahi: Pandemics and Pathogens: What’s at Stake in the Debate Over Scientific Realism? [REVIEW]Margaret Greta Turnbull - forthcoming - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A.
    I provide a critical review of Moti Mizrahi's The Relativity of Theory, expounding on the book's strengths and then providing an extended argument that Mizrahi mischaracterizes the epistemic attitude of concern to antirealism about science as well as the practical stakes involved in adopting the antirealist position.
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Scientific Truth
  1. A Constructive Critique of Mario Bunge’s Theory of Truth.David Martín Solano - 2021 - Mεtascience 2:online.
    Truth is the degree of accuracy when representing reality. We postulate three cognitive stages: the psychon, produced by perception; the construct, produced by intellection; and the speech act, produced by communication. Truth lies in the second; only constructs are alethic. Truth is a quality which takes place in degrees. Certainty is the unreachable perfect tip of this gradation, so it is an ideal concept. A thesis is deemed true if its alethical degree is acceptably efficacious, otherwise the thesis is deemed (...)
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  2. The Truth About Better Understanding?Lewis Ross - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-24.
    The notion of understanding occupies an increasingly prominent place in contemporary epistemology, philosophy of science, and moral theory. A central and ongoing debate about the nature of understanding is how it relates to the truth. In a series of influential contributions, Catherine Elgin has used a variety of familiar motivations for antirealism in philosophy of science to defend a non- factive theory of understanding. Key to her position are: (i) the fact that false theories can contribute to the upwards trajectory (...)
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  3. La relatividad conceptual y el problema de la verdad.Antonio Diéguez - 2020 - Scientia in Verba Magazine 6 (1):105-120.
    Algunos defensores del realismo científico, particularmente Ilkka Niiniluoto y Philip Kitcher, han intentado moderar las tesis ontológicas más fuertes del realismo buscando la integración de la teoría de la verdad como correspondencia con alguna versión matizada del relativismo conceptual propugnado por Putnam, según el cual el mundo carece de una estructura propia y, por tanto, la ontología depende de nuestros esquemas conceptuales. No es claro, sin embargo, que ambas cosas se puedan armonizar fácilmente. Si nuestro conocimiento del mundo está mediado (...)
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  4. Is Truth the Gold Standard of Inquiry? A Comment on Elgin’s Argument Against Veritism.Moti Mizrahi - forthcoming - Foundations of Science:1-6.
    In True Enough, Catherine Elgin (2017) argues against veritism, which is the view that truth is the paramount epistemic objective. Elgin’s argument against veritism proceeds from considering the role that models, idealizations, and thought experiments play in science to the conclusion that veritism is unacceptable. In this commentary, I argue that Elgin’s argument fails as an argument against veritism. I sketch a refutation by logical analogy of Elgin’s argument. Just as one can aim at gold medals and still find approximations (...)
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  5. Vérité partielle et réalisme scientifique: une approche bungéenne.Jean-Pierre Marquis - 2020 - Mεtascience 1:293-314.
    Le réalisme scientifique occupe une place centrale dans le système philosophique de Mario Bunge. Au cœur de cette thèse, on trouve l’affirmation selon laquelle nous pouvons connaître le monde partiellement. Il s’ensuit que les théories scientifiques ne sont pas totalement vraies ou totalement fausses, mais plutôt partiellement vraies et partiellement fausses. Ces énoncés sur la connaissance scientifique, à première vue plausible pour quiconque est familier avec la pratique scientifique, demandent néanmoins à être clarifiés, précisés et, ultimement, à être inclus dans (...)
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  6. Veritism Refuted? Understanding, Idealizations, and the Facts.Tamer Nawar - forthcoming - Synthese:1-19.
    Elgin offers an influential and far-reaching challenge to veritism. She takes scientific understanding to be non-factive and maintains that there are epistemically useful falsehoods that figure ineliminably in scientific understanding and whose falsehood is no epistemic defect. Veritism, she argues, cannot account for these facts. This paper argues that while Elgin rightly draws attention to several features of epistemic practices frequently neglected by veritists, veritists have numerous plausible ways of responding to her arguments. In particular, it is not clear that (...)
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  7. Scientific Progress: Why Getting Closer to Truth Is Not Enough.Moti Mizrahi - 2017 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 31 (4):415-419.
    ABSTRACTThis discussion note aims to contribute to the ongoing debate over the nature of scientific progress. I argue against the semantic view of scientific progress, according to which scientific progress consists in approximation to truth or increasing verisimilitude. If the semantic view of scientific progress were correct, then scientists would make scientific progress simply by arbitrarily adding true disjuncts to their hypotheses or theories. Given that it is not the case that scientists could make scientific progress simply by arbitrarily adding (...)
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  8. Scientific Styles, Plain Truth, and Truthfulness.Robert Kowalenko - 2018 - South African Journal of Philosophy 37 (3):361-378.
    Ian Hacking defines a “style of scientific thinking” loosely as a “way to find things out about the world” characterised by five hallmark features of a number of scientific template styles. Most prominently, these are autonomy and “self-authentication”: a scientific style of thinking, according to Hacking, is not good because it helps us find out the truth in some domain, it itself defines the criteria for truth-telling in its domain. I argue that Renaissance medicine, Mediaeval “demonology”, and magical thinking pass (...)
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  9. The Role of Truth in Psychological Science.Jamin Asay - 2018 - Theory and Psychology 28 (3):382-397.
    In a recent paper, Haig and Borsboom explore the relevance of the theory of truth for psychological science. Although they conclude that correspondence theories of truth are best suited to offer the resources for making sense of scientific practice, they leave open the possibility that other theories might accomplish those same ends. I argue that deflationary theories of truth, which deny that there is any substantive property that unifies the class of truths, makes equally good sense of scientific practice as (...)
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  10. Aesthetic Values in Science.Milena Ivanova - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (10):e12433.
    Scientists often use aesthetic values in the evaluation and choice of theories. Aesthetic values are not only regarded as leading to practically more useful theories but are often taken to stand in a special epistemic relation to the truth of a theory such that the aesthetic merit of a theory is evidence of its truth. This paper explores what aesthetic considerations influence scientists' reasoning, how such aesthetic values relate to the utility of a scientific theory, and how one can justify (...)
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  11. On Truth and Reference in Postmodern Science.Emma Ruttkamp - 2003 - South African Journal of Philosophy 22 (3):220-235.
    If the defenders of typical postmodern accounts of science (and their less extreme social-constructivist partners) are at one end of the scale in current philosophy of science, who shall we place at the other end? Old-style metaphysical realists? Neo-neo-positivists? ... Are the choices concerning realist issues as simple as being centered around either, on the one hand, whether it is the way reality is “constructed” in accordance with some contingent language game that determines scientific “truth”; or, on the other hand, (...)
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  12. Verisimilitude: A Causal Approach.Robert Northcott - 2013 - Synthese 190 (9):1471-1488.
    I present a new definition of verisimilitude, framed in terms of causes. Roughly speaking, according to it a scientific model is approximately true if it captures accurately the strengths of the causes present in any given situation. Against much of the literature, I argue that any satisfactory account of verisimilitude must inevitably restrict its judgments to context-specific models rather than general theories. We may still endorse—and only need—a relativized notion of scientific progress, understood now not as global advance but rather (...)
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  13. Est-il rationnel de chercher la vérité?Howard Sankey - 2000 - Revue Philosophique De Louvain 98 (3):589-602.
    This paper addresses the question of whether it is rational for scientists to pursue the realist aim of truth. The point of departure is a pair of objections to the aim of truth due to the anti-realist author, Larry Laudan: first, it is not rational to pursue an aim such as truth which we cannot know we have reached; second, truth is not a legitimate aim for science because it cannot be shown to be attained. Against Laudan, it is argued (...)
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Verisimilitude
  1. The Truth About Better Understanding?Lewis Ross - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-24.
    The notion of understanding occupies an increasingly prominent place in contemporary epistemology, philosophy of science, and moral theory. A central and ongoing debate about the nature of understanding is how it relates to the truth. In a series of influential contributions, Catherine Elgin has used a variety of familiar motivations for antirealism in philosophy of science to defend a non- factive theory of understanding. Key to her position are: (i) the fact that false theories can contribute to the upwards trajectory (...)
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  2. Scientific Progress: Why Getting Closer to Truth Is Not Enough.Moti Mizrahi - 2017 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 31 (4):415-419.
    ABSTRACTThis discussion note aims to contribute to the ongoing debate over the nature of scientific progress. I argue against the semantic view of scientific progress, according to which scientific progress consists in approximation to truth or increasing verisimilitude. If the semantic view of scientific progress were correct, then scientists would make scientific progress simply by arbitrarily adding true disjuncts to their hypotheses or theories. Given that it is not the case that scientists could make scientific progress simply by arbitrarily adding (...)
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  3. Scientific Progress Without Increasing Verisimilitude: In Response to Niiniluoto.Darrell Patrick Rowbottom - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 51:100-104.
    First, I argue that scientific progress is possible in the absence of increasing verisimilitude in science’s theories. Second, I argue that increasing theoretical verisimilitude is not the central, or primary, dimension of scientific progress. Third, I defend my previous argument that unjustified changes in scientific belief may be progressive. Fourth, I illustrate how false beliefs can promote scientific progress in ways that cannot be explicated by appeal to verisimilitude.
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  4. Verisimilitude and Strongly Semantic Information.Gustavo Cevolani - 2011 - Etica E Politica 13 (2):159-179.
    In The Philosophy of Information, Luciano Floridi presents a theory of “strongly semantic information”, based on the idea that “information encapsulates truth” . Starting with Popper, philosophers of science have developed different explications of the notion of verisimilitude or truthlikeness, construed as a combination of truth and information. Thus, the theory of strongly semantic information and the theory of verisimilitude are intimately tied. Yet, with few exceptions, this link has virtually pass unnoticed. In this paper, we briefly survey both theories (...)
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  5. Verisimilitude: A Causal Approach.Robert Northcott - 2013 - Synthese 190 (9):1471-1488.
    I present a new definition of verisimilitude, framed in terms of causes. Roughly speaking, according to it a scientific model is approximately true if it captures accurately the strengths of the causes present in any given situation. Against much of the literature, I argue that any satisfactory account of verisimilitude must inevitably restrict its judgments to context-specific models rather than general theories. We may still endorse—and only need—a relativized notion of scientific progress, understood now not as global advance but rather (...)
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  6. A Verisimilitudinarian Analysis of the Linda Paradox.Gustavo Cevolani, Vincenzo Crupi & Roberto Festa - 2012 - VII Conference of the Spanish Society for Logic, Methodology and Philosphy of Science.
    The Linda paradox is a key topic in current debates on the rationality of human reasoning and its limitations. We present a novel analysis of this paradox, based on the notion of verisimilitude as studied in the philosophy of science. The comparison with an alternative analysis based on probabilistic confirmation suggests how to overcome some problems of our account by introducing an adequately defined notion of verisimilitudinarian confirmation.
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  7. The Whole Truth About Linda: Probability, Verisimilitude and a Paradox of Conjunction.Gustavo Cevolani, Vincenzo Crupi & Roberto Festa - 2010 - In Marcello D'Agostino, Federico Laudisa, Giulio Giorello, Telmo Pievani & Corrado Sinigaglia (eds.), New Essays in Logic and Philosophy of Science. College Publications. pp. 603--615.
    We provide a 'verisimilitudinarian' analysis of the well-known Linda paradox or conjunction fallacy, i.e., the fact that most people judge the probability of the conjunctive statement "Linda is a bank teller and is active in the feminist movement" (B & F) as more probable than the isolated statement "Linda is a bank teller" (B), contrary to an uncontroversial principle of probability theory. The basic idea is that experimental participants may judge B & F a better hypothesis about Linda as compared (...)
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  8. Approaching the Truth Via Belief Change in Propositional Languages.Gustavo Cevolani & Francesco Calandra - 2010 - In M. Suàrez, M. Dorato & M. Rèdei (eds.), EPSA Epistemology and Methodology of Science: Launch of the European Philosophy of Science Association. Springer. pp. 47--62.
    Starting from the sixties of the past century theory change has become a main concern of philosophy of science. Two of the best known formal accounts of theory change are the post-Popperian theories of verisimilitude (PPV for short) and the AGM theory of belief change (AGM for short). In this paper, we will investigate the conceptual relations between PPV and AGM and, in particular, we will ask whether the AGM rules for theory change are effective means for approaching the truth, (...)
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  9. Truthlikeness for Theories on Countable Languages.Thomas Mormann - 2006 - In Ian Jarvie, Karl Milford & David Miller (eds.), Karl Popper: A Centenary Assessment vol. 3.
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  10. Logic in Service of Philosophy of Science: Reply to Isabella Burger and Johannes Heidema.Theo A. F. Kuipers - 2005 - Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities 83 (1):489-492.
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  11. Qualitative and Quantitative Inference to the Best Theory: Reply to Ilkka Niiniluoto.Theo A. F. Kuipers - 2005 - Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities 83 (1):276-280.
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  12. Induction and Scientific Realism: Einstein Versus Van Fraassen Part One: How to Solve the Problem of Induction.Nicholas Maxwell - 1993 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 44 (1):61-79.
    In this three-part paper, my concern is to expound and defend a conception of science, close to Einstein's, which I call aim-oriented empiricism. I argue that aim-oriented empiricsim has the following virtues. (i) It solve the problem of induction; (ii) it provides decisive reasons for rejecting van Fraassen's brilliantly defended but intuitively implausible constructive empiricism; (iii) it solves the problem of verisimilitude, the problem of explicating what it can mean to speak of scientific progress given that science advances from one (...)
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  13. A Note on Verisimilitude and Relativization to Problems.Philippe Mongin - 1990 - Erkenntnis 33 (3):391-396.
    This note aims at critically assessing a little-noticed proposal made by Popper in the second edition of "Objective Knowledge" to the effect that verisimilitude of scientific theories should be made relative to the problems they deal with. Using a simple propositional calculus formalism, it is shown that the "relativized" definition fails for the very same reason why Popper's original concept of verisimilitude collapsed -- only if one of two theories is true can they be compared in terms of the suggested (...)
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  14. On the Verisimilitude of Artificial Intelligence.Roger Vergauwen & Rodrigo González - 2005 - Logique Et Analyse- 190 (189):323-350.
    This paper investigates how the simulation of intelligence, an activity that has been considered the notional task of Artificial Intelligence, does not comprise its duplication. Briefly touching on the distinction between conceivability and possibility, and commenting on Ryan’s approach to fiction in terms of the interplay between possible worlds and her principle of minimal departure, we specify verisimilitude in Artificial Intelligence as the accurate resemblance of intelligence by its simulation and, from this characterization, claim the metaphysical impossibility of duplicating intelligence, (...)
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Truth and Verisimilitude, Misc
  1. Inference Belief and Interpretation in Science.Avijit Lahiri - manuscript
    This monograph is an in-depth and engaging discourse on the deeply cognitive roots of human scientific quest. The process of making scientific inferences is continuous with the day-to-day inferential activity of individuals, and is predominantly inductive in nature. Inductive inference, which is fallible, exploratory, and open-ended, is of essential relevance in our incessant efforts at making sense of a complex and uncertain world around us, and covers a vast range of cognitive activities, among which scientific exploration constitutes the pinnacle. Inductive (...)
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  2. Scientific Progress: Four Accounts.Finnur Dellsén - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (11):e12525.
    Scientists are constantly making observations, carrying out experiments, and analyzing empirical data. Meanwhile, scientific theories are routinely being adopted, revised, discarded, and replaced. But when are such changes to the content of science improvements on what came before? This is the question of scientific progress. One answer is that progress occurs when scientific theories ‘get closer to the truth’, i.e. increase their degree of truthlikeness. A second answer is that progress consists in increasing theories’ effectiveness for solving scientific problems. A (...)
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  3. The Argument From Underconsideration and Relative Realism.Moti Mizrahi - 2013 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 27 (4):393-407.
    In this article, through a critical examination of K. Brad Wray's version of the argument from underconsideration against scientific realism, I articulate a modest version of scientific realism. This modest realist position, which I call ‘relative realism’, preserves the scientific realist's optimism about science's ability to get closer to the truth while, at the same time, taking on board the antirealist's premise that theory evaluation is comparative, and thus that there are no good reasons to think that science's best theories (...)
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  4. Aim-Oriented Empiricism Since 1984.Nicholas Maxwell - 2007 - In From Knowledge to Wisdom: A Revolution for Science and the Humanities. Pentire Press.
    This chapter outlines improvements and developments made to aim-oriented empiricism since "From Knowledge to Wisdom" was first published in 1984. It argues that aim-oriented empiricism enables us to solve three fundamental problems in the philosophy of science: the problems of induction and verisimilitude, and the problem of what it means to say of a physical theory that it is unified.
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  5. Realism, Method and Truth.Howard Sankey - 2002 - In Michele Marsonet (ed.), The Problem of Realism. Aldershot: Ashgate. pp. 64-81.
    What is the relation between method and truth? Are we justified in accepting a theory that satisfies the rules of scientific method as true? Such questions divide realism from anti-realism in the philosophy of science. Scientific realists take the methods of science to promote the realist aim of correspondence truth. Anti-realists either claim that the methods of science promote lesser epistemic goals than realist truth, or else they reject the realist conception of truth altogether. In this paper, I propose a (...)
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