Confirmation versus Falsificationism

In Robin L. Cautin & Scott O. Lilienfeld (eds.), Encyclopedia of Clinical Psychology (2015)
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Abstract

Confirmation and falsification are different strategies for testing theories and characterizing the outcomes of those tests. Roughly speaking, confirmation is the act of using evidence or reason to verify or certify that a statement is true, definite, or approximately true, whereas falsification is the act of classifying a statement as false in the light of observation reports. After expounding the intellectual history behind confirmation and falsificationism, reaching back to Plato and Aristotle, I survey some of the main controversial issues and arguments that pertain to the choice between these strategies: the Raven Paradox, the Duhem/Quine problem and the Grue Paradox. Finally, I outline an evolutionary criticism of inductive Bayesian approaches based on my assumption of doxastic involuntarism.

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Ray Scott Percival
London School of Economics

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References found in this work

Two Dogmas of Empiricism.W. Quine - 1951 - [Longmans, Green].
Fact, Fiction, and Forecast.Nelson Goodman - 1955 - Harvard University Press.
The Aim and Structure of Physical Theory.Pierre Maurice Marie Duhem - 1954 - Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Theory and Evidence.Clark N. Glymour - 1980 - Princeton University Press.

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