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Evading the IRS

Bogen, James and Woodward, Jim (1993) Evading the IRS. [Preprint]


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'IRS' is our term for the logical empiricist idea that the best way to understand the epistemic bearing of observational evidence on scientific theories is to model it in terms of Inferential Relations among Sentences representing the evidence, and sentences representing hypotheses the evidence is used to evaluate. Developing ideas from our earlier work, including 'Saving the Phenomena'(Phil Review 97, 1988, p.303-52 )we argue that the bearing of observational evidence on theory depends upon causal connections and error characteristics of the processes by which data is produced and used to detect features of phenomena. Neither of these depends upon, or is greatly illuminated by a consideration of, formal relations among observation and theoretical sentences or propositions. By taking causal structures and error characteristics, you too can evade the IRS. In doing so, you can gain insight into Hempel’s raven paradox, theory loading, and other issues from the standard philosophical literature on confirmation theory.

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Item Type: Preprint
Bogen, James
Woodward, Jim
Additional Information: This paper will appear in 'Correcting the Model', a volume in the Poznan philosophy of science series whose publication has been delayed for over a decade.
Keywords: logical empiricism, confirmation, evidence, observation, raven paradox, theory testing, experiment
Subjects: General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
General Issues > Theory/Observation
General Issues > Experimentation
General Issues > Logical Positivism/Logical Empiricism
Depositing User: jim bogen
Date Deposited: 21 Jan 2005
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 15:13
Item ID: 2172

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