, Volume 75, Issue 2, pp 183-202

Verisimilitude and Belief Change for Conjunctive Theories

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Abstract

Theory change is a central concern in contemporary epistemology and philosophy of science. In this paper, we investigate the relationships between two ongoing research programs providing formal treatments of theory change: the (post-Popperian) approach to verisimilitude and the AGM theory of belief change. We show that appropriately construed accounts emerging from those two lines of epistemological research do yield convergences relative to a specified kind of theories, here labeled “conjunctive”. In this domain, a set of plausible conditions are identified which demonstrably capture the verisimilitudinarian effectiveness of AGM belief change, i.e., its effectiveness in tracking truth approximation. We conclude by indicating some further developments and open issues arising from our results.