© 1987



Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 185)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Ilkka Niiniluoto
    Pages 1-38
  3. Ilkka Niiniluoto
    Pages 39-102
  4. Ilkka Niiniluoto
    Pages 103-121
  5. Ilkka Niiniluoto
    Pages 122-155
  6. Ilkka Niiniluoto
    Pages 156-197
  7. Ilkka Niiniluoto
    Pages 198-262
  8. Ilkka Niiniluoto
    Pages 263-289
  9. Ilkka Niiniluoto
    Pages 290-309
  10. Ilkka Niiniluoto
    Pages 310-345
  11. Ilkka Niiniluoto
    Pages 346-371
  12. Ilkka Niiniluoto
    Pages 372-405
  13. Ilkka Niiniluoto
    Pages 406-441
  14. Ilkka Niiniluoto
    Pages 442-473
  15. Back Matter
    Pages 474-525

About this book


The modern discussion on the concept of truthlikeness was started in 1960. In his influential Word and Object, W. V. O. Quine argued that Charles Peirce's definition of truth as the limit of inquiry is faulty for the reason that the notion 'nearer than' is only "defined for numbers and not for theories". In his contribution to the 1960 International Congress for Logic, Methodology, and Philosophy of Science at Stan­ ford, Karl Popper defended the opposite view by defining a compara­ tive notion of verisimilitude for theories. was originally introduced by the The concept of verisimilitude Ancient sceptics to moderate their radical thesis of the inaccessibility of truth. But soon verisimilitudo, indicating likeness to the truth, was confused with probabilitas, which expresses an opiniotative attitude weaker than full certainty. The idea of truthlikeness fell in disrepute also as a result of the careless, often confused and metaphysically loaded way in which many philosophers used - and still use - such concepts as 'degree of truth', 'approximate truth', 'partial truth', and 'approach to the truth'. Popper's great achievement was his insight that the criticism against truthlikeness - by those who urge that it is meaningless to speak about 'closeness to truth' - is more based on prejudice than argument.


Karl R. Popper argue decision theory idea identity logic methodology object philosophy pragmatics reason semantic singular structure truth

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of HelsinkiFinland

Bibliographic information