# Verisimilitude

Edited by Gustavo Cevolani (IMT School For Advanced Studies Lucca)
 Summary Truth is the aim of inquiry, but some theories seem to better approximate that goal than others. One may think, for instance, that Copernicus’ model of the solar system is closer to the truth than Ptolemy’s. Since Copernicus assumed that planetary orbits were circles, his theory is, strictly speaking, false. Thus, we have here a case of a false theory which better approximates the truth than another false theory. Moreover, Copernicus’ theory also seems better than the plain claim that planets move in orbits: so, false propositions may sometimes be more verisimilar even than true but uninformative ones. This suggests that verisimilitude (or truthlikeness, as it is also known) is a mixture of truth and informative content: a theory is verisimilar when it tells many things about the world, and many of these things are true. Explicating this intuition in a rigorous way amounts to solving the so-called logical problem of truthlikeness. In normal circumstances, we simply don’t know what the truth about a given matter is. Thus, we cannot directly assess the relative verisimilitude of competing theories. However, we can estimate their verisimilitude on the basis of available evidence: explaining exactly how this can be done means answering to the so-called epistemic problem of truthlikeness. Interestingly, estimated verisimilitude doesn’t follow the rules of probability. In particular, it may be that a theory with low probability is estimated as highly truthlike; and, a logically stronger theory may be estimated as more verisimilar than a logically weaker one. This makes (estimated) verisimilitude a mathematically less well-behaved notion than probability; still, it provides the philosopher of science with a flexible and useful tool to analyze such issues as theory change, scientific progress, convergence to the truth, and the realism/antirealism debate.
 Key works The notion of verisimilitude was first introduced, and clearly distinguished from probability, by Popper 1962 (see also Popper 1972 and Popper 1983), who also provided the first formal definition of truthlikeness. Ten years later, Tichý 1974 and Miller 1974 independently proved that Popper’s definition was untenable. This triggered the still ongoing post-Popperian research program on explicating verisimilitude, which currently include a number of different, and partially conflicting, proposals. These can be classified within three different perspectives (Zwart 2001, Oddie 2014): the content approach (Miller 1977, Miller 2006; Kuipers 1987), the likeness or similarity approach (Oddie 1986, Niiniluoto 1987), and the consequence approach (Schurz & Weingartner 1987, Schurz & Weingartner 2010). All such approaches address at least the logical problem of truthlikeness; for discussions of the epistemic problem see especially Niiniluoto 1987 and Kuipers 2000.
 Introductions Niiniluoto 1998 provides an excellent survey and discussion of the main accounts of verisimilitude; a more recent survey is given by Oddie 2014. Book-length treatments include Oddie 1986, Niiniluoto 1987, the collection edited by Kuipers 1987, Kieseppä 1996, Kuipers 2000 (parts III-IV), and Zwart 2001. Cevolani & Tambolo 2013  is a gentle introduction to the methodological applications of the notion of truthlikeness.
Related

Contents
351 found
Order:
 1 — 50 / 351
1. Truth and Truthlikeness.Graham Oddie - forthcoming - In Glanzberg M. (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Truth. Oxford University Press.
Remove from this list

Export citation

Bookmark
2. Truthlikeness for Quantitative Deterministic Laws.Alfonso García-Lapeña - 2023 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 74 (3):649-679.
Truthlikeness is a property of a theory or a proposition that represents its closeness to the truth. According to Niiniluoto, truthlikeness for quantitative deterministic laws can be defined by the Minkowski metric. I present some counterexamples to the definition and argue that it fails because it considers truthlikeness for quantitative deterministic laws to be just a function of accuracy, but an accurate law can be wrong about the actual ‘structure’ or ‘behaviour’ of the system it intends to describe. I develop (...)

Export citation

Bookmark   5 citations
3. A Note on Verisimilitude and Accuracy.Randall G. McCutcheon - 2023 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 74 (2):431-434.
Schoenfield has constructed examples of proper inaccuracy measures that value verisimilitude (in a certain sense) in spaces of worlds equipped with a particular variety of verisimilitude metric. However, Schoenfield left it as an open question whether ‘for every space of worlds, there is a proper inaccuracy measure that values verisimilitude’. Here I answer this question in the affirmative.

Export citation

Bookmark   2 citations
4. After Karl Popper’s original work, several approaches were developed to provide a sound explication of the notion of verisimilitude. With few exceptions, these contributions have assumed that the truth to be approximated is deterministic. This collection of ten papers addresses the more general problem of approaching probabilistic truths. They include attempts to find appropriate measures for the closeness to probabilistic truth and to evaluate claims about such distances on the basis of empirical evidence. The papers employ multiple analytical approaches, and (...)

Export citation

Bookmark   1 citation
5. Accuracy and Verisimilitude: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.Miriam Schoenfield - 2022 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 73 (2):373-406.
It seems like we care about at least two features of our credence function: gradational-accuracy and verisimilitude. Accuracy-first epistemology requires that we care about one feature of our credence function: gradational-accuracy. So if you want to be a verisimilitude-valuing accuracy-firster, you must be able to think of the value of verisimilitude as somehow built into the value of gradational-accuracy. Can this be done? In a recent article, Oddie has argued that it cannot, at least if we want the accuracy measure (...)

Export citation

Bookmark   8 citations
6. Tracking probabilistic truths: a logic for statistical learning.Alexandru Baltag, Soroush Rafiee Rad & Sonja Smets - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):9041-9087.
We propose a new model for forming and revising beliefs about unknown probabilities. To go beyond what is known with certainty and represent the agent’s beliefs about probability, we consider a plausibility map, associating to each possible distribution a plausibility ranking. Beliefs are defined as in Belief Revision Theory, in terms of truth in the most plausible worlds. We consider two forms of conditioning or belief update, corresponding to the acquisition of two types of information: learning observable evidence obtained by (...)

Export citation

Bookmark   1 citation
7. Approaching deterministic and probabilistic truth: a unified account.Gustavo Cevolani & Roberto Festa - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):11465-11489.
The basic problem of a theory of truth approximation is defining when a theory is “close to the truth” about some relevant domain. Existing accounts of truthlikeness or verisimilitude address this problem, but are usually limited to the problem of approaching a “deterministic” truth by means of deterministic theories. A general theory of truth approximation, however, should arguably cover also cases where either the relevant theories, or “the truth”, or both, are “probabilistic” in nature. As a step forward in this (...)

Export citation

Bookmark
8. Understanding scientific progress: the noetic account.Finnur Dellsén - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):11249-11278.
What is scientific progress? This paper advances an interpretation of this question, and an account that serves to answer it. Roughly, the question is here understood to concern what type of cognitive change with respect to a topic X constitutes a scientific improvement with respect to X. The answer explored in the paper is that the requisite type of cognitive change occurs when scientific results are made publicly available so as to make it possible for anyone to increase their understanding (...)

Export citation

Bookmark   8 citations
9. Scoring, truthlikeness, and value.Igor Douven - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):8281-8298.
There is an ongoing debate about which rule we ought to use for scoring probability estimates. Much of this debate has been premised on scoring-rule monism, according to which there is exactly one best scoring rule. In previous work, I have argued against this position. The argument given there was based on purely a priori considerations, notably the intuition that scoring rules should be sensitive to truthlikeness relations if, and only if, such relations are present among whichever hypotheses are at (...)

Export citation

Bookmark
10. Truthlikeness for probabilistic laws.Alfonso García-Lapeña - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):9359-9389.
Truthlikeness is a property of a theory or a proposition that represents its closeness to the truth. We start by summarizing Niiniluoto’s proposal of truthlikeness for deterministic laws, which defines truthlikeness as a function of accuracy, and García-Lapeña’s expanded version, which defines truthlikeness for DL as a function of two factors, accuracy and nomicity. Then, we move to develop an appropriate definition of truthlikeness for probabilistic laws based on Niiniluoto’s suggestion to use the Kullback–Leibler divergence to define the distance between (...)

Export citation

Bookmark   1 citation
11. Approaching probabilistic and deterministic nomic truths in an inductive probabilistic way.Theo A. F. Kuipers - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):8001-8028.
Theories of truth approximation in terms of truthlikeness almost always deal with approaching deterministic truths, either actual or nomic. This paper deals first with approaching a probabilistic nomic truth, viz. a true probability distribution. It assumes a multinomial probabilistic context, hence with a lawlike true, but usually unknown, probability distribution. We will first show that this true multinomial distribution can be approached by Carnapian inductive probabilities. Next we will deal with the corresponding deterministic nomic truth, that is, the set of (...)

Export citation

Bookmark
12. Approaching probabilistic laws.Ilkka Niiniluoto - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):10499-10519.
In the general problem of verisimilitude, we try to define the distance of a statement from a target, which is an informative truth about some domain of investigation. For example, the target can be a state description, a structure description, or a constituent of a first-order language. In the problem of legisimilitude, the target is a deterministic or universal law, which can be expressed by a nomic constituent or a quantitative function involving the operators of physical necessity and possibility. The (...)

Export citation

Bookmark   1 citation
13. Vassend on Verisimilitude and Counterfactual Probabilities.Ilkka Niiniluoto - 2021 - Philosophy of Science 88 (3):554-561.
Olav Benjamin Vassend proposes two solutions to the “interpretive problem” of assigning nonzero probabilities to hypotheses that are known to be false. He argues that the verisimilitude interpretation and the counterfactual interpretation are equivalent. While Vassend’s intuition about these two solutions is basically correct, the technical details of his treatment need elaboration and correction. Appropriate tools for combining verisimilitude and Bayesian probabilities can be found in my Truthlikeness.

Export citation

Bookmark
14. Propositional and credal accuracy in an indeterministic world.Graham Oddie - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):9391-9410.
It is truism that accuracy is valued. Some deem accuracy to be among the most fundamental values, perhaps the preeminent value, of inquiry. Because of this, accuracy has been the focus of two different, important programs in epistemology. The truthlikeness program pursued the notion of propositional accuracy—an ordering of propositions by closeness to the objective truth of some matter. The epistemic utility program pursued the notion of credal state accuracy—an ordering of credal states by closeness to the ideal credal state. (...)

Export citation

Bookmark
15. The Truth About Better Understanding?Lewis Ross - 2021 - Erkenntnis 88 (2):747-770.
The notion of understanding occupies an increasingly prominent place in contemporary epistemology, philosophy of science, and moral theory. A central and ongoing debate about the nature of understanding is how it relates to the truth. In a series of influential contributions, Catherine Elgin has used a variety of familiar motivations for antirealism in philosophy of science to defend a non- factive theory of understanding. Key to her position are: (i) the fact that false theories can contribute to the upwards trajectory (...)

Export citation

Bookmark   2 citations
16. Probabilistic truthlikeness, content elements, and meta-inductive probability optimization.Gerhard Schurz - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):6009-6037.
The paper starts with the distinction between conjunction-of-parts accounts and disjunction-of-possibilities accounts to truthlikeness. In Sect. 3, three distinctions between kinds of truthlikeness measures are introduced: comparative versus numeric t-measures, t-measures for qualitative versus quantitative theories, and t-measures for deterministic versus probabilistic truth. These three kinds of truthlikeness are explicated and developed within a version of conjunctive part accounts based on content elements. The focus lies on measures of probabilistic truthlikeness, that are divided into t-measures for statistical probabilities and single (...)

Export citation

Bookmark   1 citation
17. Degrees of riskiness, falsifiability, and truthlikeness: A neo-Popperian account applicable to probabilistic theories.Leander Vignero & Sylvia Wenmackers - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):11729-11764.
In this paper, we take a fresh look at three Popperian concepts: riskiness, falsifiability, and truthlikeness of scientific hypotheses or theories. First, we make explicit the dimensions that underlie the notion of riskiness. Secondly, we examine if and how degrees of falsifiability can be defined, and how they are related to various dimensions of the concept of riskiness as well as the experimental context. Thirdly, we consider the relation of riskiness to truthlikeness. Throughout, we pay special attention to probabilistic theories (...)

Export citation

Bookmark
18. Probabilistic truth approximation and fixed points.David Atkinson & Jeanne Peijnenburg - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):4195-4216.
We use the method of fixed points to describe a form of probabilistic truth approximation which we illustrate by means of three examples. We then contrast this form of probabilistic truth approximation with another, more familiar kind, where no fixed points are used. In probabilistic truth approximation with fixed points the events are dependent on one another, but in the second kind they are independent. The first form exhibits a phenomenon that we call ‘fading origins’, the second one is subject (...)

Export citation

Bookmark
19. Knowledge, adequacy, and approximate truth.Wesley Buckwalter & John Turri - 2020 - Consciousness and Cognition 83 (C):102950.
Approximation involves representing things in ways that might be close to the truth but are nevertheless false. Given the widespread reliance on approximations in science and everyday life, here we ask whether it is conceptually possible for false approximations to qualify as knowledge. According to the factivity account, it is impossible to know false approximations, because knowledge requires truth. According to the representational adequacy account, it is possible to know false approximations, if they are close enough to the truth for (...)

Export citation

Bookmark   12 citations
20. Approaching Truth in Conceptual Spaces.Gustavo Cevolani - 2020 - Erkenntnis 85 (6):1485-1500.
Knowledge representation is a central issue in a number of areas, but few attempts are usually made to bridge different approaches accross different fields. As a contribution in this direction, in this paper I focus on one such approach, the theory of conceptual spaces developed within cognitive science, and explore its potential applications in the fields of philosophy of science and formal epistemology. My case-study is provided by the theory of truthlikeness, construed as closeness to “the whole truth” about a (...)

Export citation

Bookmark   1 citation
21. A partial consequence account of truthlikeness.Gustavo Cevolani & Roberto Festa - 2020 - Synthese 197 (4):1627-1646.
Popper’s original definition of truthlikeness relied on a central insight: that truthlikeness combines truth and information, in the sense that a proposition is closer to the truth the more true consequences and the less false consequences it entails. As intuitively compelling as this definition may be, it is untenable, as proved long ago; still, one can arguably rely on Popper’s intuition to provide an adequate account of truthlikeness. To this aim, we mobilize some classical work on partial entailment in defining (...)

Export citation

Bookmark   10 citations
22. Refined nomic truth approximation by revising models and postulates.Theo A. F. Kuipers - 2020 - Synthese 197 (4):1601-1625.
Assuming that the target of theory oriented empirical science in general and of nomic truth approximation in particular is to characterize the boundary or demarcation between nomic possibilities and nomic impossibilities, I have presented, in my article entitled “Models, postulates, and generalized nomic truth approximation” :3057–3077, 2016. 10.1007/s11229-015-0916-9), the ‘basic’ version of generalized nomic truth approximation, starting from ‘two-sided’ theories. Its main claim is that nomic truth approximation can perfectly be achieved by combining two prima facie opposing views on theories: (...)

Export citation

Bookmark   1 citation
23. Truthlikeness: old and new debates.Ilkka Niiniluoto - 2020 - Synthese 197 (4):1581-1599.
The notion of truthlikeness or verisimilitude has been a topic of intensive discussion ever since the definition proposed by Karl Popper was refuted in 1974. This paper gives an analysis of old and new debates about this notion. There is a fairly large agreement about the truthlikeness ordering of conjunctive theories, but the main rival approaches differ especially about false disjunctive theories. Continuing the debate between Niiniluoto’s min-sum measure and Schurz’s relevant consequence measure, the paper also gives a critical assessment (...)

Export citation

Bookmark   12 citations
24. Realists Waiting for Godot? The Verisimilitudinarian and the Cumulative Approach to Scientific Progress.Andrea Roselli - 2020 - Erkenntnis 85 (5):1071-1084.
After a brief presentation of the Verisimilitudinarian approach to scientific progress, I argue that the notion of estimated verisimilitude is too weak for the purposes of scientific realism. Despite the realist-correspondist intuition that inspires the model—the idea that our theories get closer and closer to ‘the real way the world is’—, Bayesian estimations of truthlikeness are not objective enough to sustain a realist position. The main argument of the paper is that, since estimated verisimilitude is not connected to actual verisimilitude, (...)

Export citation

Bookmark   1 citation
25. Anachronism and Idiocy: History, Realism, and the Aesthetics of Verisimilitude.Sonia Werner - 2020 - Diacritics 48 (2):36-53.

Export citation

Bookmark
26. Why Adding Truths Is Not Enough: A Reply to Mizrahi on Progress as Approximation to the Truth.Gustavo Cevolani & Luca Tambolo - 2019 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 32 (2):129-135.
In a recent paper in this journal, entitled ‘Scientific Progress: Why Getting Closer to Truth is Not Enough’ (2017), Moti Mizrahi argues that the view of progress as approximation to the truth or increasing verisimilitude is plainly false. The key premise of his argument is that on such a view of progress, in order to get closer to the truth one only needs to arbitrarily add a true disjunct to a hypothesis or theory. Since quite clearly scientific progress is not (...)

Export citation

Bookmark   2 citations
27. Accuracy, Verisimilitude, and Scoring Rules.Jeffrey Dunn - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (1):151-166.
ABSTRACTSuppose that beliefs come in degrees. How should we then measure the accuracy of these degrees of belief? Scoring rules are usually thought to be the mathematical tool appropriate for this job. But there are many scoring rules, which lead to different ordinal accuracy rankings. Recently, Fallis and Lewis [2016] have given an argument that, if sound, rules out many popular scoring rules, including the Brier score, as genuine measures of accuracy. I respond to this argument, in part by noting (...)

Export citation

Bookmark   5 citations
28. Verisimilitude and Truthmaking.Kit Fine - 2019 - Erkenntnis 86 (5):1239-1276.
I provide and defend a hyper-intensional account of verisimilitude within the truthmaker framework.

Export citation

Bookmark   6 citations
29. Some Remarks on Popper’s Qualitative Criterion of Verisimilitude.Kit Fine - 2019 - Erkenntnis 87 (1):213-236.
The paper sets up a general framework for defining the notion of verisimilitude. Popper’s own account of verisimilitude is then located within this framework; and his account is defended on the grounds that it can be seen to provide a reasonable structural or Pareto criterion, rather than a substantive criterion, of verisimilitude. Some other criteria of verisimilitude that may be located within the framework are also considered and their relative merits compared.

Export citation

Bookmark   2 citations
30. Nomic Truth Approximation Revisited.Theo A. F. Kuipers - 2019 - Cham: Springer Verlag.
This monograph presents new ideas in nomic truth approximation. It features original and revised papers from a philosopher of science who has studied the concept for more than 35 years. Over the course of time, the author's initial ideas evolved. He discovered a way to generalize his first theory of nomic truth approximation, viz. by dropping an unnecessarily strong assumption. In particular, he first believed to have to assume that theories were maximally specific in the sense that they did not (...)

Export citation

Bookmark   7 citations
31. What Accuracy Could Not Be.Graham Oddie - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (2):551-580.
Two different programmes are in the business of explicating accuracy—the truthlikeness programme and the epistemic utility programme. Both assume that truth is the goal of inquiry, and that among inquiries that fall short of realizing the goal some get closer to it than others. Truthlikeness theorists have been searching for an account of the accuracy of propositions. Epistemic utility theorists have been searching for an account of the accuracy of credal states. Both assume we can make cognitive progress in an (...)

Export citation

Bookmark   19 citations
32. Exploring and extending the landscape of conjunctive approaches to verisimilitude.Gustavo Cevolani & Roberto Festa - 2018 - In Alessandro Giordani & Ciro de Florio (eds.), From Arithmetic to Metaphysics: A Path Through Philosophical Logic. De Gruyter. pp. 69-88.
Starting with Popper, philosophers and logicians have proposed different accounts of verisimilitude or truthlikeness. One way of classifying such accounts is to distinguish between “conjunctive” and “disjunctive” ones. In this paper, we focus on our own “basic feature” approach to verisimilitude, which naturally belongs to the conjunctive family. We start by surveying the landscape of conjunctive accounts; then, we introduce two new measures of verisimilitude and discuss their properties; finally, we conclude by hinting at some surprising relations between our conjunctive (...)

Export citation

Bookmark   2 citations
33. A partial consequence account of truthlikeness.Gustavo Cevolani & Roberto Festa - 2018 - Synthese:1-20.
Popper’s original definition of truthlikeness relied on a central insight: that truthlikeness combines truth and information, in the sense that a proposition is closer to the truth the more true consequences and the less false consequences it entails. As intuitively compelling as this definition may be, it is untenable, as proved long ago; still, one can arguably rely on Popper’s intuition to provide an adequate account of truthlikeness. To this aim, we mobilize some classical work on partial entailment in defining (...)

Export citation

Bookmark   9 citations
34. Truthlikeness and the Lottery Paradox via the Preface Paradox.Simon D'Alfonso - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 96 (2):391-397.
In a 2017 AJP paper, Cevolani and Schurz propose a novel solution to the Preface Paradox that appeals to the notion of expected truthlikeness. This discussion note extends and analyses their approach by applying it to the related Lottery Paradox.

Export citation

Bookmark   1 citation
35. Scientific progress: Four accounts.Finnur Dellsén - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (11):e12525.
Scientists are constantly making observations, carrying out experiments, and analyzing empirical data. Meanwhile, scientific theories are routinely being adopted, revised, discarded, and replaced. But when are such changes to the content of science improvements on what came before? This is the question of scientific progress. One answer is that progress occurs when scientific theories ‘get closer to the truth’, i.e. increase their degree of truthlikeness. A second answer is that progress consists in increasing theories’ effectiveness for solving scientific problems. A (...)

Export citation

Bookmark   21 citations
36. Explanation by Idealized Theories.Ilkka Niiniluoto - 2018 - Kairos 20 (1):43-63.
The use of idealized scientific theories in explanations of empirical facts and regularities is problematic in two ways: they don’t satisfy the condition that the explanans is true, and they may fail to entail the explanandum. An attempt to deal with the latter problem was proposed by Hempel and Popper with their notion of approximate explanation. A more systematic perspective on idealized explanations was developed with the method of idealization and concretization by the Poznan school in the 1970s. If idealizational (...)

Export citation

Bookmark   4 citations
37. Truth-Seeking by Abduction.Ilkka Niiniluoto - 2018 - Cham, Switzerland: Springer.
This book examines the philosophical conception of abductive reasoning as developed by Charles S. Peirce, the founder of American pragmatism. It explores the historical and systematic connections of Peirce's original ideas and debates about their interpretations. Abduction is understood in a broad sense which covers the discovery and pursuit of hypotheses and inference to the best explanation. The analysis presents fresh insights into this notion of reasoning, which derives from effects to causes or from surprising observations to explanatory theories. The (...)

Export citation

Bookmark   24 citations
38. A Verisimilitude Framework for Inductive Inference, with an Application to Phylogenetics.Olav B. Vassend - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (4):1359-1383.
Bayesianism and likelihoodism are two of the most important frameworks philosophers of science use to analyse scientific methodology. However, both frameworks face a serious objection: much scientific inquiry takes place in highly idealized frameworks where all the hypotheses are known to be false. Yet, both Bayesianism and likelihoodism seem to be based on the assumption that the goal of scientific inquiry is always truth rather than closeness to the truth. Here, I argue in favour of a verisimilitude framework for inductive (...)

Export citation

Bookmark   1 citation
39. Popper's verisimilitude: The scientific journey from ignorance to truth.Nicholas Anakwue - 2017 - Philosophy Pathways 210 (1):1-11.
The question of truth is a broadly broached subject in Philosophy as it features along the entire historical and polemical growth of the discipline right from the time of the Ancients down to our Post-Modern era. Yet, the delimiting realization of being unable to register general success in our dogged attempts at truth and knowledge, mostly stares us blankly in the face, for matters on which philosophy endeavours to speculate on, are beyond the reach of definite knowledge.1 Our theories of (...)

Export citation

Bookmark   1 citation
40. Fallibilism, Verisimilitude, and the Preface Paradox.Gustavo Cevolani - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (1):169-183.
The Preface Paradox apparently shows that it is sometimes rational to believe logically incompatible propositions. In this paper, I propose a way out of the paradox based on the ideas of fallibilism and verisimilitude. More precisely, I defend the view that a rational inquirer can fallibly believe or accept a proposition which is false, or likely false, but verisimilar; and I argue that this view makes the Preface Paradox disappear. Some possible objections to my proposal, and an alternative view of (...)

Export citation

Bookmark   8 citations
41. Probability, Approximate Truth, and Truthlikeness: More Ways out of the Preface Paradox.Gustavo Cevolani & Gerhard Schurz - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (2):209-225.
The so-called Preface Paradox seems to show that one can rationally believe two logically incompatible propositions. We address this puzzle, relying on the notions of truthlikeness and approximate truth as studied within the post-Popperian research programme on verisimilitude. In particular, we show that adequately combining probability, approximate truth, and truthlikeness leads to an explanation of how rational belief is possible in the face of the Preface Paradox. We argue that our account is superior to other solutions of the paradox, including (...)

Export citation

Bookmark   11 citations
42. In Defense of the Notion of Truthlikeness.Ingvar Johansson - 2017 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 48 (1):59-69.
The notion of truthlikeness, coined by Karl Popper, has very much fallen into oblivion, but the paper defends it. It can be regarded in two different ways. Either as a notion that is meaningful only if some formal measure of degree of truthlikeness can be constructed; or as a merely non-formal comparative notion that nonetheless has important functions to fulfill. It is the latter notion that is defended; it is claimed that such a notion is needed for both a reasonable (...)

Export citation

Bookmark   1 citation
43. Scientific Progress: Why Getting Closer to Truth Is Not Enough.Moti Mizrahi - 2017 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 31 (4):415-419.
ABSTRACTThis discussion note aims to contribute to the ongoing debate over the nature of scientific progress. I argue against the semantic view of scientific progress, according to which scientific progress consists in approximation to truth or increasing verisimilitude. If the semantic view of scientific progress were correct, then scientists would make scientific progress simply by arbitrarily adding true disjuncts to their hypotheses or theories. Given that it is not the case that scientists could make scientific progress simply by arbitrarily adding (...)

Export citation

Bookmark   7 citations
44. Optimistic realism about scientific progress.Ilkka Niiniluoto - 2017 - Synthese 194 (9):3291-3309.
Scientific realists use the “no miracle argument” to show that the empirical and pragmatic success of science is an indicator of the ability of scientific theories to give true or truthlike representations of unobservable reality. While antirealists define scientific progress in terms of empirical success or practical problem-solving, realists characterize progress by using some truth-related criteria. This paper defends the definition of scientific progress as increasing truthlikeness or verisimilitude. Antirealists have tried to rebut realism with the “pessimistic metainduction”, but critical (...)

Export citation

Bookmark   24 citations
45. Verisimilitude: Why and How.Ilkka Niiniluoto - 2017 - In Stefano Gattei & Nimrod Bar-Am (eds.), Encouraging Openness. Springer Verlag.
Remove from this list

Export citation

Bookmark   2 citations
46. Carnapian truthlikeness.Gustavo Cevolani - 2016 - Logic Journal of the IGPL 24 (4):542-556.
Theories of truthlikeness (or verisimilitude) are currently being classified according to two independent distinctions: that between ‘content’ and ‘likeness’ accounts, and that between ‘conjunctive’ and ‘disjunctive’ ones. In this article, I present and discuss a new definition of truthlikeness, which employs Carnap’s notion of the content elements entailed by a theory or proposition, and is then labelled ‘Carnapian’. After studying in detail the properties and shortcomings of this definition, I argue that it occupies a unique position in the landscape of (...)

Export citation

Bookmark   4 citations
47. Belief merging with the aim of truthlikeness.Simon D’Alfonso - 2016 - Synthese 193 (7):2013-2034.
The merging/fusion of belief/data collections in propositional logic form is a topic that has received due attention within the domains of database and AI research. A distinction can be made between two types of scenarios to which the process of merging can be applied. In the first type, the collections represent preferences, such as the voting choices of a group of people, that need to be aggregated so as to give a consistent result that in some way best represents the (...)

Export citation

Bookmark   1 citation
48. Models, postulates, and generalized nomic truth approximation.Theo A. F. Kuipers - 2016 - Synthese 193 (10).
The qualitative theory of nomic truth approximation, presented in Kuipers in his, in which ‘the truth’ concerns the distinction between nomic, e.g. physical, possibilities and impossibilities, rests on a very restrictive assumption, viz. that theories always claim to characterize the boundary between nomic possibilities and impossibilities. Fully recognizing two different functions of theories, viz. excluding and representing, this paper drops this assumption by conceiving theories in development as tuples of postulates and models, where the postulates claim to exclude nomic impossibilities (...)

Export citation

Bookmark   6 citations
49. Toward Truthlikeness in Historiography.Oliver Laas - 2016 - European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophy 8 (2).
Truthlikeness in historiography would allow us to be optimistic fallible realists about historiography – to hold that historical knowledge is about the past, true albeit fallible, and can increase over time. In this paper, three desiderata for a concept of truthlikeness in historiography will be outlined. One of the main challenges for truthlikeness is historiographic skepticism which holds that historiography is indistinguishable from fiction and cannot therefore furnish us with true knowledge about the past. Such skepticism rests on the postmodern (...)