Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 426)


This Chapter is the introduction. Here I lay out the principal aims of the book, which are to investigate the way that evidence is gathered and used to confirm the kinds of hypotheses that are commonly found in clinical medical science, and to introduce and defend a new theory that I call the “weight of evidence” account. I present some notions that have been offered of what we should expect from a theory of evidence. In the book I discuss five theories of evidence that have been proposed, namely hypothetico-deductivism, Bayesianism, Carl Hempel’s “satisfaction” theory, Deborah Mayo’s “error-statistical” theory, and Peter Achinstein’s theory. I also consider Inference to the Best Explanation to the extent that it can be considered a method of theory choice. I advance reasons why I do not believe that previous theories satisfactorily explain confirmation in clinical medical science. I briefly outline the contents of the other chapters.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Birmingham Radiological GroupBirminghamUSA

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