Diverse Tests on an Independent World

J. D. Trout

in Measuring the Intentional World

Published in print July 1998 | ISBN: 9780195107661
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199786152 | DOI:
 Diverse Tests on an Independent World

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This chapter shows how the central epistemological notion of this book, population-guided estimation, makes contact with traditional epistemological categories. The persistent empiricist and others skeptical of theoretical progress in the social sciences and psychology deny the independence of diverse, converging tests. It is argued that different and relatively independent methods introduce errors into the data that are, roughly speaking, randomly distributed. In fact, those critical of the long-term reliability of diverse testing are committed to at least one of two implausible doctrines: (1) that the world conspires to keep information from us (and changes systematically to do so), or (2) that an adequate scientific methodology must empower the scientist to predict the future history of science. These two principles are incompatible with, respectively, the realist metaphysics and the naturalistic epistemology independently advanced in this book.

Keywords: diverse testing; PGE; robustness; pseudorobustness; idle defeaters; realist metaphysics; naturalistic epistemology; skepticism

Chapter.  11651 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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