Journal Article

Logically Equivalent—But Closer to the Truth

Roy A. Sorensen

in The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science

Published on behalf of British Society for the Philosophy of Science

Volume 58, issue 2, pages 287-297
Published in print June 2007 | ISSN: 0007-0882
Published online May 2007 | e-ISSN: 1464-3537 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjps/axm010
Logically Equivalent—But Closer to the Truth

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Verisimilitude has the potential to deepen the understanding of mathematical progress, the principle of charity, and the psychology of regret. One obstacle is the widely held belief that two statements can vary in truthlikeness only if they vary in what they entail. This obstacle is removed with four types of counterexamples. The first concerns necessarily coextensive measurements that differ only with respect to their units (specifically length, area, and volume). The second class of counterexamples is composed of mathematical falsehoods. The third class features inconsistent scientific theories. The fourth class of cases features statements that are instructive but meaningless. 1

Equivalent measurements with greater verisimilitude

2

Verisimilitude in mathematics

3

Inconsistent scientific theories

4

Meaningless statements

Journal Article.  4068 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science ; Science and Mathematics

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