Modelling Inference

  • Tom AddisEmail author
Part of the Advanced Information and Knowledge Processing book series (AI&KP)


Historians and students of scientific method know that scientists evaluate hypotheses and theories comparatively, not in isolation. In the early stages of the development of a new field, many hypotheses may be proposed. Scientists generally seek to narrow down the range of potential hypotheses while increasing their precision. Nevertheless, attempts to improve the empirical adequacy of theories via experiments sometimes lead to further hypotheses, introduced to protect other, more fundamental assumptions of a theory. For example, evidence against the existence of luminiferous ether arose through Michelson and Morley’s experiments, which were designed to produce a definitive empirical support for this core assumption of the wave theory of light. The Lorentz-Fitzgerald contraction hypothesis was introduced to save the ontological commitment to the ether in the face of this evidence because the ether was considered essential to the wave theory of light.


Bayes’ rule Theories Flexibility Receptivity Surprise Indifference Confidence Security 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Portsmouth School of ComputingPortsmouthUnited Kingdom

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