© 2001

Refined Verisimilitude


Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 307)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Sjoerd D. Zwart
    Pages 1-34
  3. Sjoerd D. Zwart
    Pages 35-73
  4. Sjoerd D. Zwart
    Pages 74-120
  5. Sjoerd D. Zwart
    Pages 121-167
  6. Sjoerd D. Zwart
    Pages 168-190
  7. Sjoerd D. Zwart
    Pages 191-226
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 227-263

About this book


The subject of the present inquiry is the approach-to-the-truth research, which started with the publication of Sir Karl Popper's Conjectures and Refutations. In the decade before this publication, Popper fiercely attacked the ideas of Rudolf Carnap about confirmation and induction; and ten years later, in the famous tenth chapter of Conjectures he introduced his own ideas about scientific progress and verisimilitude (cf. the quotation on page 6). Abhorring inductivism for its apprecia­ tion of logical weakness rather than strength, Popper tried to show that fallibilism could serve the purpose of approach to the truth. To substantiate this idea he formalized the common sense intuition about preferences, that is: B is to be preferred to A if B has more advantages andfewer drawbacks than A. In 1974, however, David Millerand Pavel Tichy proved that Popper's formal explication could not be used to compare false theories. Subsequently, many researchers proposed alternatives or tried to improve Popper's original definition.


Karl R. Popper epistemology logic philosophy of science proposition science

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Delft University of Technology and University of AmsterdamThe Netherlands

Bibliographic information