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The Philosophy of ScienceA Companion$
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Anouk Baberousse, Denis Bonnay, and Mikael Cozic

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190690649

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190690649.001.0001

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Confirmation and Induction

Confirmation and Induction

(p.53) 2 Confirmation and Induction
The Philosophy of Science

Mikaël Cozic

Oxford University Press

How are scientific hypotheses and theories assessed against empirical data? Philosophers of science have tried to find out whether there are general principles underlying this activity. This chapter goes through the major types of philosophical theories of confirmation. It starts with two proposals that elaborate criteria of qualitative confirmation on the basis of (deductive) logic: instantialism and hypothetico-deductivism. The main part of the chapter is devoted to Bayesian confirmation theory (BCT), which relies on a probabilistic framework and is able to provide both qualitative and quantitative criteria of confirmation. We discuss in details the strengths and limits of BCT. In the closing section, we address the issue of how BCT (and Bayesianism in general) relate to the problem of induction.

Keywords:   corroboration, deduction, induction, empirical data, evidence, hypothesis, probability, refutation, theory, Bayesianism

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