Synthese 71 (3):235 - 321 (1987)

Abstract
In recent years, there have been some attempts to defend the legitimacy of a non-inductive generative logic of discovery whose strategy is to analyze a variety of constraints on the actual generation of explanatory hypotheses. These proposed new theories, however, are only weakly generative (relying on sophisticated processes of elimination) rather than strongly generative (embodying processes of correction).This paper develops a strongly generative theory which holds that we can come to know something new only as a variant of what we already know — and that the novelty of this variant is not thereby eliminated nor beyond our powers of characterization, a double requirement that is vital for resolving the Meno paradox. In this light, the discovery of a new hypothesis is taken as the correction of an antecedent hypothesis in response to the discrepancies between the predictions generated by that antecedent hypothesis and the desired result (e.g. the actual data to be explained). This process comprises two parallel operations: the first, which demonstrates the positive role of the facts in generating new explanations, involves a mapping between multiple hypotheses and sets of predictions generated from those hypotheses, for the purpose of taking the actual data as a determinable variant of neighboring sets of predictions. This mapping permits the facts to indicate how corrective adjustments in the working hypothesis should be made; the second operation, which demonstrates the positive role of explanations in generating new facts, involves a mapping between differently construed versions of the actual data and the conceptualizations derived from those perceptual versions, for the purpose of taking the working hypothesis as a determinable variant of these neighboring conceptualizations. This mapping permits a given hypothesis to generate predictions increasingly closer to the actual facts.
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DOI 10.1007/BF00485631
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References found in this work BETA

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - University of Chicago Press.
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Citations of this work BETA

How Science Textbooks Treat Scientific Method: A Philosopher's Perspective.James Blachowicz - 2009 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (2):303--344.
Discovery and Ampliative Inference.James Blachowicz - 1989 - Philosophy of Science 56 (3):438-462.
Thoughts on Maher's Predictivism.Eric Barnes - 1996 - Philosophy of Science 63 (3):401-410.

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