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Induction and the Scope of Theories

  • Thomas A. Brody

Abstract

More than fifty years ago, Karl Popper (1936) gave a forceful argument to the effect that induction is not a tenable way to establish either that a scientific theory is acceptable or that it is more acceptable than rival theories. This chapter is motivated by two considerations: (1) as the steady flow of publications on the subject shows, the old confusions about induction remain alive, and (2) Popper’s argument, while conclusive, is formal; there is more to be said. The weakness of inductivist conceptions lies in a mistaken view of the nature of scientific theories; they are seen as — ideally — universal propositions, while (as I shall argue) their abstract component is a set of propositions of finite scope, the determination of which is one basic purpose of experimentation.

Keywords

Elastic Scattering Scientific Theory Optical Model Scientific Practice Confirmation Theory 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas A. Brody

There are no affiliations available

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