Title

On the Predilections for Predictions

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

9-1-2008

Description

Scientific theories are developed in response to a certain set of phenomena and subsequently evaluated, at least partially, in terms of the quality of fit between those same theories and appropriately distinctive phenomena. To differentiate between these two stages it is popular to describe the former as involving the accommodation of data and the latter as involving the prediction of data. Predictivism is the view that, ceteris paribus, correctly predicting data confers greater confirmation than successfully accommodating data. In this paper, I take issue with a variety of predictivist theses, argue that their role for issues of confirmation is extremely limited, and attempt to account for the appeal that predictivism has enjoyed.

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