The Problem of Verisimilitude
The aim of the theory of verisimilitude is to answer the semantical question of what is intended when we say that one theory is closer to the truth than another. It is not intended to answer the epistemological question of how we can know that a theory is closer to the truth than another.1 Miller has formulated the problem of verisimilitude as the question, “Are some theories closer to the truth than others are; and if so, what is the objective determinant of their greater truthlikeness?”2 Miller has chosen this formulation in order to stress that the problem is not merely a verbal one of denning words or concepts. But when he says that he seeks an objective determinant of truthlikeness, he of course does not mean that we can have certain knowledge about it. From a fallibilistic point of view hypotheses about relative degrees of truthlikeness are highly conjectural, but given an objective determinant of truthlikeness they can be criticized. Thus a central problem for a theory of verisimilitude is to define the concept of verisimilitude in such a way that a critical discussion of conjectures about relative degrees of verisimilitude is possible.
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