Chapter

Coherence and the Hierarchy of Method

Keith Lehrer

in Metamind

Published in print June 1990 | ISBN: 9780198248507
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191681141 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198248507.003.0009
Coherence and the Hierarchy of Method

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This chapter discusses a traditional theory of scientific method and presents what is considered to be a salient criticism. It also considers an alternative coherence theory of scientific method based on a hierarchy of evaluation. It shows that people do not need any basic observation-claims to occupy a special position in verification or falsification of scientific hypotheses and theories. The chapter claims that the acceptance of observation-reports and the rejection of conflicting theories is only one alternative, the maintenance of theories and rejection of the observation-reports being another, and that such decisions have a scientific basis. They are based on the assessment of probabilities and the probability of conflicting competing claims.

Keywords: coherence; scientific method; hypotheses; theories; hierarchy; evaluation; probability; verification; rationality; convergence

Chapter.  12289 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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