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Verisimilitude: a causal approach

Northcott, Robert (2013) Verisimilitude: a causal approach. Synthese 190 (9), pp. 1471-1488. ISSN 0039-7857.

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I present a new definition of verisimilitude, framed in terms of causes. Roughly speaking, according to it a scientific model is approximately true if it captures accurately the strengths of the causes present in any given situation. Against much of the literature, I argue that any satisfactory account of verisimilitude must inevitably restrict its judgments to context-specific models rather than general theories. We may still endorse – and only need – a relativized notion of scientific progress, understood now not as global advance but rather as the mastering of particular problems. This also sheds new light on longstanding difficulties surrounding language-dependence and models committed to false ontologies

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Verisimilitude, Approximate truth, Causal strength, Causation, Scientific progress, Language dependence, Scientific realism
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Philosophy
Depositing User: Robert Northcott
Date Deposited: 31 Jul 2012 11:31
Last Modified: 08 May 2013 09:21

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