The Paradox of Predictivism - download pdf or read online

By Eric Christian Barnes

ISBN-10: 051139506X

ISBN-13: 9780511395062

ISBN-10: 0521879620

ISBN-13: 9780521879620

An everlasting query within the philosophy of technological know-how is the query of no matter if a systematic idea merits extra credits for its winning predictions than it does for accommodating facts that used to be already recognized while the speculation used to be constructed. within the Paradox of Predictivism, Eric Barnes argues that the profitable prediction of proof testifies to the overall credibility of the predictor in a manner that proof doesn't whilst the proof is utilized in the method of endorsing the idea. He illustrates his argument with a massive episode from nineteenth-century chemistry, Mendeleev's Periodic legislations and its profitable predictions of the life of assorted parts. the implications of this account of predictivism for the realist/anti-realist debate are substantial, and advance the prestige of the 'no miracle' argument for medical realism. Barnes's vital and unique contribution to the controversy will curiosity quite a lot of readers in philosophy of technological know-how.

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How intuitively plausible predictivism appears depends, as suggested above, on whether one thinks of theory evaluators as pluralists or as individualists. For consider a theorist who constructs a theory T which entails a true piece of evidence E, and another agent who plays the role of evaluator. Suppose the evaluator is a pluralist. If the theorist simply built T to fit this true consequence, this fact (that the theorist constructed a truth entailing theory) can be explained adequately by noting how the theory was built.

3) bears some resemblance to the notion of endorsement novelty defended here. Leplin claims that N is a novel confirmation of T if N is not cited in a rational reconstruction of the reasoning which generated T. ’ However, Leplin’s conception of novelty is nonetheless clearly construction based – this is because he needs a conception of novelty that will support his version of the miracle argument for realism, which argues that truth is needed to explain why a theory entails some true consequence if this cannot be explained in terms of how the theory was built.

Ft. 2). Epistemic pluralism 39 An individual is a member of a particular SC insofar as that individual (1) possesses a body of background belief K which is regarded as a necessary condition for competence in the relevant field, and (2) is involved in some kind of communication with the other members of SC that bears on the project of determining the truth about the germane matter of fact. I refer below to individuals who qualify as a member of a particular SC as ‘experts’ relative to that SC. This is not to say, of course, that all members of a particular SC have identical background beliefs – as we will see, there are sometimes differences in training or experience that cause certain members to have background beliefs not possessed by others.

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The Paradox of Predictivism by Eric Christian Barnes

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