Logical Empiricism uni bielefeld de

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berg 1995 289 90 In sum logical empiricism was more contrasting and more. modern than its opponents would have it, 1 wish to broaden this recent reevaluation of logical empiricism by bringing. confirmation theory into the picture Carnap Hans Reichenbach and Carl Hempel. Smooth Lines in Confirmation Theory contributed to laying the foundations of present day confirmation theory So it was. logical empiricists among others who planted the seeds that were later brought. Carnap Hempel and the Moderns to fruition,Reshaping the Ground in Confirmation Theory. MARTIN CARRIER,Bielefeld University, Conventional wisdom has it that science provides us with insights that are more. accurate and more trustworthy than the commonsense views we entertain in every. day life Most of us are willing to grant a high degree of credibility to scientific. tenets The reason is that we take such tenets to be better confirmed than the usual. folklore which in turn places the issue of the nature of scientific confirmation an. the agenda, Let me prepare my sketch presentation of logical empiricist contributions to. this issue by delineating in broad strokes the most striking lines in the develop. ment of confirmation theory This development is characterized by two peaks sep. arated by a period of roughly two decades in which the relevant interest dropped to. The past two decades have seen a reviving interest in logical empiricism Distance a low The ferst peak extends from roughly 1930 to 1960 and includes the relevant. in time typically engenders the equanimity characteristic of the historical atti work of logical empiricists Outstanding among them are Reichenbach s Experience. tude The historical perspective mellows old front lines and tends to transform and Prediction 1938 Hempel s Studies in the Logic of Confirmation 1945 and. previous warfare into nuanced analysis and more detached consideration After Carnap s Logical Foundations of Probability 1950 All these accounts placed the. Karl Popper s attacks an Rudolf Carnap have shifted away from the philosophical logical or probabilistic relationship between a hypothesis and a piece of evidence. combat zones and alter the battle smoke of the fighting over theory change as ini at the center of consideration It was asked whether or to which degree a given Ob. tiated by Thomas Kuhn s paradigm approach has cleared it is precisely this his servation report was capable of supporting a given assumption Within this. torical attitude that has begun to dominate the study of logical empiricism If framework it was conceded at once that general theories are in need of empirical. winning or losing is no longer the issue the woodcut type approach of marked assessment as well However the evaluation of individual hypotheses was consid. contrasts gives way to expounding multifaceted shades and variegation Continuing ered primary Overarching theories were construed as collections of hypotheses so. scholarly occupation with logical empiricism has brought to light a wide variety that the Support of the former was thought to be derivable from the confirmation. of views among its advocates and has shown that there never was anything like a of the latter. monolithic Viennese ideology Moreover it never was the primary objective of The publication of Kuhn s Structure of Scientific Revolutions 1962 shifted the. logical empiricists to debunk statements as meaningless gibberish Rather the top focus to a different ground and initiated a distinct approach to the evaluation of. of the agenda was characterized by more positive challenges For instance the scientific achievements Let me call this approach the tradition of theory change. double language model paved the way to the eventual recognition of a genuine as opposed to confirmation theory proper Kuhn regarded the issue of the viabil. contribution of theory to conferring meaning to scientific terms Irzik and Gr n ity of comprehensive theoretical traditions or paradigms as the fundamental one. Carrier Carnap Hempel and the Moderns, The evaluation of individual hypotheses was held to be inextricably tied up with the work was resumed at the locus where it was dropped decades ago Today s.
the credibility of the associated paradigm Thus the theory change tradition re theories of confirmation have smoothly grown out of their logical empiricist. placed the emphasis an individual assumptions by a holistic approach according predecessors My chief example is Hempel s approach which profoundly shaped. to which large scale theories constitute the primary object of scientific assessment the bootstrap model Bot let me begin by offering some remarks an the joint char. Second the historical development of a theory was considered essential in addi acteristics of probabilistic theories of confirmation. tion In the Kuhnian framework the paradigmatic principles are decreed exempt. from critical examination during the periods of normal science but might well be. subjected to severe tests in the times of crisis or imminent revolution Kuhn 1962 Probabilism in Confirmation Theory. 35 37 66 68, Imre Lakatos s methodology represents another approach within the theory Underlying all relevant approaches is the attempt to clarify confirmation by tak. change tradition According to Lakatos one of the chief measures of acceptability ing advantage of the probability calculus Degrees of confirmation are intended to. is whether a theory manages to anticipate relevant data or whether it merely ac be captured by the probability of a hypothesis in light of the available evidence. commodates observations after their discovery and only responds to anomalies The differences between Carnap and Reichenbach an the one hand and present. Although two theories might be able to account for the same set of data their sup day Bayesianism which largely goes back to Bruno de Finetti an the other pre. port by these data might yet be different If one of the theories predicted the rele dominantly concern two aspects Bayesianism of this sort is characterized first by. vant findings while the other had to be adapted to new problems and fitted to the commitment to Bayes s theorem as the measure of empirical support and sec. known results the former is buttressed more strongly by these data than the latter ond by the subjective interpretation of the relevant probabilities and of prior. Lakatos 1970 32 36 Carrier 2002 probabilities in particular Probabilities of hypotheses are supposed to rely an or. In sum there is a twofold contrast between confirmation theory and the the to merely express personal belief strengths that are only constrained by the condi. ory change tradition as to the evaluation of scientific achievements First confir tion that their relations are in agreement with the probability calculus Howson. mation theory considers the appraisal of individual hypotheses in light of the and Urbach 1989 10 67. relevant evidence as the core and kernel of judging scientific merit The tradition On both counts Carnap and Reichenbach held dissenting views Their ap. of theory change by contrast places comprehensive theories at the focus and re proaches to confirmation differ in detail but agree an invoking the theorem of con. gards confirmation as a profoundly holistic endeavor Second confirmation theory ditional probability rather than Bayes s theorem and an trying to confer objective. distinguishes logical or probabiistic relations between the data and the theoretical meaning to all relevant probabilities Carnap s inductive logic employs language. claims as exclusively relevant for assessing these claims The theory change tradi dependent measures of the ratio of the favorable cases to the possible ones. tion an the other hand additionally features historical patterns of development Reichenbach s approach is based an frequentist assumptions Adopting Bayes s. and temporal relations between the enunciation of a theory and the discovery of theorem rather than conditional probability marks an important improvement. the pertinent empirical effects but does not indicate an in principle change Bayes s theorem features the likeli. The thriving of the theory change tradition corresponded to the eclipse of hood or expectedness of data which is crucial to the reconstruction of theory. conf rmation theory The latter was revived after about 198o when interest in theory choice and theory change Still this is a technical point that in no way indicates. change began to fade This period constitutes the beginning of the second peak of a switch in the fundamental orientation In this vein Colin Howson and Peter. conftrmation theory It is characterized first by Clark Glymour s bootstrap model Urbach in their now standard account of Bayesianism regard Bayesian confirma. of confirmation which takes up essential principles from Hempel s entaihnent tion theory as the continuation of inductive logic by other means Howson and. approach and second and predominantly by Bayesian confirmation theory which Urbach 1989 290 Howson 1997 278. incorporates elements of the probabilistic accounts of Carnap and Reichenbach The gap between the objective probabilities of the empiricist tradition and the. In each case the later theories owe much to their logical empiricist sources Con subjective probabilities of standard Bayesianism is deeper and has wider ramifica. firmation theory can be regarded as a thoroughly cumulative endeavor When tions Still there are factions in the present debate Wesley Salmon prominently. confirmation began to re attract attention and the second peak came into view among them who advocate an objective interpretation of probabilities within the. Scientific Rationality Carrier Carnap Hempel and the Modern. Bayesian framework Salmon 1967 115 31 Salmon 1990 180 87 All in all there is the hypothesis from the data rather than the other way around The basic relation. a striking continuity between the early and the modern debates In spite of super is instantiation hypotheses are confirmed by their positive instances An instance. ficial dissimilarities strong conceptual ties bind Carnap s views of confirmation of a hypothesis is characterized by the fact that variables contained in it are re. to latter day Bayesianism This bears testimony to the fecundity of logical empiri placed by individual constants That is Vx Px Qx is a hypothesis Pa A Qa is a. cism In confrrmation theory logical empiricism was not abandoned but gradually positive instance These instances are observation statements they ascribe certain. transformed Probabilistic confirmation theory proceeded along smooth lines properties to individual objects The general assumption that all pixies are quirky. is instantiated by Archibald the quirky pixy Observation statements are critical to. confirmation hypotheses are appraised an their basis The key intuition is cap. Hempel s Entailment Account of Hypothesis Confirmation tured by Hempel s entailment condition Any sentence which is entailed by an ob. servation report is confirmed by it Hempel 1945 31 my emphasis That is a. 1 want to support this claim of gradual transformation by reviewing one example hypothesis is confirmed if instantiations of this hypothesis follow from the data. more extensively and more carefully This example concerns the relationship be However as Hempel proceeds this account has the awkward consequence. tween Hempel s entailment account of confirmation and Glymour s bootstrap that confirmation relations may depend an the formulation of a hypothesis In. model So 1 set aside the Brand lines for the moment and give a more detailed ac particular logically equivalent hypotheses may come out confirmed differently by. count of what 1 take tobe the salient aspects of the transition the Same data Consider the contrapositive to the mentioned schematic hypothe. Hempel s account of confirmation is based an the intuition that a hypothe sis Vx Qx Px What is nonquirky is not a pixy This version is no longer. sis is confirmed by its positive instances rather than its consequences as the instantiated by Archibald the quirky pixy The evidence which supported the. hypothetico deductive approach has it Hypothetico deductive confirmation in hypothesis is confirmatooy neutral to its contrapositive reformulation Hempel. volves the derivation of the data from tentatively presumed assumptions If these considered this feature an unacceptable flaw of his model and suggested fixing it. empirical consequences are found in experience the theoretical premises of the by adopting the equivalence condition as an additional constraint Hempel 1945. deduction are considered confirmed Thus the key to hypothetico deductivism is 13 31 lt says that logically equivalent hypotheses are confirmed by the same evi. what Hempel calls the converse consequence condition This condition stipulates dence If c h e and h r h then c h e Accepting this further condition means. that if an observation report e confirms a hypothesis h which is in turn implied that instantiation is merely sufficient not necessary for confirmation If a hypothe. by another hypothesis h that is h h then e also confirms W In the hypo sis remains noninstantiated but is equivalent to a positively instantiated one the. thetico deductive framework it is in virtue of this condition that pieces of evi former receives empirical backing as well. dence are able to bear out general theories Suppose the observation of a freely A further condition brings out the Spirit of Hempel s account more distinctly. falling body can be accounted for by the law of free fall and thus confirms this law This special consequence condition s. theories of confirmation have smoothly grown out of their logical empiricist predecessors My chief example is Hempel s approach which profoundly shaped the bootstrap model Bot let me begin by offering some remarks an the joint char acteristics of probabilistic theories of confirmation Probabilism in Confirmation Theory

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