• Paul Needham
Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 423)


Objective justification requires the recognition and accommodation of sources of experimental error. Examples illustrating perceptual error, the import of appropriate and inappropriate expectations, taking systematic error into account and the articulation of random error are discussed. The notions of experimental precision and accuracy are distinguished, and the approximation associated with the articulation of degree of precision is contrasted with vagueness. The interpretation of experiment is compared with the interpretation of human action and its cultural products. The need for precautions when relying on epistemic authority is discussed in the light of the need to rely on the judgements of others. Acquiring confidence in arriving at inductive conclusions cautiously emphasises their fallibility. Finally, the interplay of epistemic and ethical value judgements is illustrated and discussed in the assessment of inductive risk.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Needham
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of StockholmStockholmSweden

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