Assessing Scientific Theories: The Bayesian Approach

In Radin Dardashti, Richard Dawid & Karim Thebault (eds.), Epistemology of Fundamental Physics: Why Trust a Theory? Cambridge, Vereinigtes Königreich: pp. 67–83 (2019)
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Abstract

Scientific theories are used for a variety of purposes. For example, physical theories such as classical mechanics and electrodynamics have important applications in engineering and technology, and we trust that this results in useful machines, stable bridges, and the like. Similarly, theories such as quantum mechanics and relativity theory have many applications as well. Beyond that, these theories provide us with an understanding of the world and address fundamental questions about space, time, and matter. Here we trust that the answers scientific theories give are reliable and that we have good reason to believe that the features of the world are similar to what the theories say about them. But why do we trust scientific theories, and what counts as evidence in favor of them?

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Author Profiles

Stephan Hartmann
Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München
Radin Dardashti
Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München

Citations of this work

Meta-Empirical Support for Eliminative Reasoning.C. D. McCoy - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 90:15-29.
On the Limits of Experimental Knowledge.Peter Evans & Karim P. Y. Thebault - 2020 - Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences 378 (2177).

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References found in this work

Bayesian Epistemology.Luc Bovens & Stephan Hartmann - 2003 - Oxford: Oxford University Press. Edited by Stephan Hartmann.
Accuracy and the Laws of Credence.Richard Pettigrew - 2016 - New York, NY.: Oxford University Press UK.
Scientific reasoning: the Bayesian approach.Peter Urbach & Colin Howson - 1993 - Chicago: Open Court. Edited by Peter Urbach.

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