Journal Article

Accommodation and Prediction: The Case of the Persistent Head

David Harker

in The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science

Published on behalf of British Society for the Philosophy of Science

Volume 57, issue 2, pages 309-321
Published in print June 2006 | ISSN: 0007-0882
Published online March 2006 | e-ISSN: 1464-3537 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjps/axl004
Accommodation and Prediction: The Case of the Persistent Head

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A not unpopular thesis, when it comes to the confirmation of scientific theories, is that data which were used in the construction of a theory afford poorer support for that theory than data that played no role. Some compelling thought experiments have been offered in favour of this view, not as proof but rather to add some intuitive plausibility. In this paper I consider such thought experiments and argue that they do not support the thesis; the perceived importance of prediction over accommodation, at least in these cases, is illusory.

Introduction

Background assumptions

Strong thesis

Weak thesis

Conclusions

Journal Article.  5740 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science ; Science and Mathematics

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