The Rationale of Reliability Prediction

  • L. N. Harris
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 22)


Rudolf Carnap (Ref 1) characterizes the activities of scientists as being part practical: they arrange experiments and make observations, and part theoretical: they formulate the results of observations into sentences, compare these results with those of other observers, try to explain them by a theory, endeavour to confirm the theory and make predictions by the use of this theory. Few scholars, including Carnap himself, accept this account as to how science is done as being anywhere near accurate. In fact, a number of philosophers e.g. Kuhn, Popper, Feyerabend, Lakatos have gained international reputations by pointing out that science does not progress in such an orderly manner. However Carnap’s picture closely relates to the popular myth of how scientific progress is achieved. The point of this account is not so much that it accounts for scientific progress but that it can serve to account for this progress since it adequately emphasizes each stage of the development of a theory.


Causal Chain Logical Probability Axiomatic System Inductive Logic Causal Influence 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. N. Harris
    • 1
  1. 1.BAe Dynamics GroupStevenage HertsUK

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