Explanation Versus Prediction: Which Carries More Evidential

Peter Achinstein

in The Book of Evidence

Published in print October 2001 | ISBN: 9780195143898
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833023 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in the Philosophy of Science

 Explanation Versus Prediction: Which Carries More Evidential

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According to one standard view, a prediction of a new fact always counts as stronger evidence for a hypothesis than an explanation of a known one. According to another view, it is the reverse. Both views are shown to be mistaken. What is important for evidence is not whether it was predicted or explained, but (in the sort of cases used by each side) what selection procedures were used to obtain the evidence. Stephen Brush's defense of ”explanationism” and Patrick Maher's defense of ”predictivism” are critically examined, as is Clark Glymour's problem of ”old evidence.”

Keywords: Brush; evidence; explanationism; Glymour; Maher; old evidence; prediction; predictivism; scientific explanation; selection procedures

Chapter.  11345 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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