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Epistemic Justification$
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Richard Swinburne

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780199243792

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199243794.001.0001

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(p.221) Appendix. Predictivism

(p.221) Appendix. Predictivism

Source:
Epistemic Justification
Author(s):

Richard Swinburne

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199243794.005.0001

Predictivism (or the historical theory of confirmation) is the view that evidence gives more support to a hypothesis if it was discovered after the hypothesis was formulated (for example, in the process of testing the hypothesis) rather than before the hypothesis was formulated. Given objective criteria (especially criteria of the relative simplicity of hypotheses) for how much evidence renders a hypothesis probable, predictivism is false. Nevertheless, we are more likely to find the kind of evidence that gives great probability to a hypothesis if we are looking for it and we only know what to look for when we have formulated the hypothesis. There are, however, very unusual situations in which the time at which evidence was discovered does affect the probability that it gives to a hypothesis.

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