PhilSci Archive

On Sober's Criterion of Contrastive Testability

Lutz, Sebastian (2010) On Sober's Criterion of Contrastive Testability. [Preprint]

WarningThere is a more recent version of this item available.
on_sobers_testability.pdf - Draft Version

Download (351kB)


Elliott Sober has suggested his criterion of contrastive testability as an improvement over previous criteria of empirical significance like falsifiability. I argue that his criterion renders almost any theory empirically significant because its restrictions on auxiliary assumptions are to weak. Even when the criterion is modified to avoid this trivialization, it fails to meet other conditions of adequacy for a criterion of empirical significance that follow from Sober's position. I suggest to define empirical significance as empirical non-equivalence to a tautology, because this definition does meet the conditions of adequacy. Specifically, it is equivalent to the standard Bayesian criterion of empirical significance whenever all probabilities are defined and contains falsifiability as a special case. This latter feature is important because those conditions of adequacy that apply to criteria of deductive empirical significance single out falsifiability.

Export/Citation: EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII/Text Citation (Chicago) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
Social Networking:
Share |

Item Type: Preprint
Keywords: empirical significance, testability, empiricism, falsifiability
Subjects: General Issues > Operationalism/Instrumentalism
General Issues > Science vs. Pseudoscience
General Issues > Structure of Theories
General Issues > Theory/Observation
Depositing User: Sebastian Lutz
Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2010 12:08
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2011 11:37
Item ID: 8424

Available Versions of this Item

Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Monthly Downloads for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item