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Prediction and accommodation revisited

Worrall, John (2014) Prediction and accommodation revisited. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A, 45 (1). pp. 54-61. ISSN 0039-3681

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.shpsa.2013.10.001


The paper presents a further articulation and defence of the view on prediction and accommodation that I have proposed earlier. It operates by analysing two accounts of the issue-by Patrick Maher and by Marc Lange-that, at least at first sight, appear to be rivals to my own. Maher claims that the time-order of theory and evidence may be important in terms of degree of confirmation, while that claim is explicitly denied in my account. I argue, however, that when his account is analysed, Maher reveals no scientifically significant way in which the time-order counts, and that indeed his view is in the end best regarded as a less than optimally formulated version of my own. Lange has also responded to Maher by arguing that the apparent relevance of temporal considerations is merely apparent: what is really involved, according to Lange, is whether or not a hypothesis constitutes an "arbitrary conjunction." I argue that Lange's suggestion fails: the correct analysis of his and Maher's examples is that provided by my account.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2013 Elsevier
Divisions: Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2013 11:20
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 02:08

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