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On a Contrastive Criterion of Testability II: The Material Inadequacy of Contrastive Testability

Lutz, Sebastian (2011) On a Contrastive Criterion of Testability II: The Material Inadequacy of Contrastive Testability. [Preprint]

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Elliott Sober has suggested his contrastive criterion of testability as an improvement over previous criteria of empirical significance like falsifiability and the standard Bayesian criterion of empirical significance. I argue that the criterion fails to meet four of the conditions of adequacy for a criterion of empirical significance that follow from Sober’s position or are presumed in his arguments. 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.

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Item Type: Preprint
Additional Information: Revised second half of "On Sober's Criterion of Contrastive Testability"
Keywords: testability, empirical significance, falsifiability, Bayesianism, likelihoodism, explication
Subjects: General Issues > Science vs. Pseudoscience
General Issues > Structure of Theories
General Issues > Theory/Observation
Depositing User: Sebastian Lutz
Date Deposited: 18 Apr 2011 11:37
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2011 11:37
Item ID: 8575

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