European Journal for Philosophy of Science

, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 171–190

Predictivism and old evidence: a critical look at climate model tuning

Original paper in Philosophy of Science

DOI: 10.1007/s13194-015-0110-4

Cite this article as:
Frisch, M. Euro Jnl Phil Sci (2015) 5: 171. doi:10.1007/s13194-015-0110-4


Many climate scientists have made claims that may suggest that evidence used in tuning or calibrating a climate model cannot be used to evaluate the model. By contrast, the philosophers Katie Steele and Charlotte Werndl have argued that, at least within the context of Bayesian confirmation theory, tuning is simply an instance of hypothesis testing. In this paper I argue for a weak predictivism and in support of a nuanced reading of climate scientists’ concerns about tuning: there are cases, model-tuning among them, in which predictive successes are more highly confirmatory of a model than accommodation of evidence.


Climate models Bayesian confirmation theory Tuning Problem of old evidence 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MarylandCollege ParkUSA

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