Inductive Justification and Discovery. On Hans Reichenbach’s Foundation of the Autonomy of the Philosophy of Science

In Schickore J. & Steinle F. (eds.), Revisiting Discovery and Justification. Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 23-39 (2005)
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Abstract
I would like to assume that Reichenbach's distinction of Justification and Discovery lives on, and to seek arguments in his texts that would justify their relevance in this field. The persuasive force of these arguments transcends the contingent circumstances apart from which their genesis and local transmission cannot be made understandable. I shall begin by characterizing the context distinction as employed by Reichenbach in "Experience and Prediction" to differentiate between epistemology and science (1). Following Thomas Nickles and Kevin T. Kelly, one can distinguish two meanings of the context distinction in Reichenbach's work. One meaning, which is primarily to be found in the earlier writings, conceives of scientific discoveries as potential objects of epistemological justification. The other meaning, typical for the later writings, removes scientific discoveries from the possible domain of epistemology. The genesis of both meanings, which demonstrates the complexity of the relationships obtaining between epistemology and science, can be made understandable by appealing to the historical context (2). Both meanings present Reichenbach with the task of establishing the autonomy of epistemology through the justification of induction. Finally, I shall expound this justification and address some of its elements of rationality characterizing philosophy of science(3).
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2006
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