Nomic Truth Approximation Revisited pp 239-259 | Cite as

# Empirical Progress and Nomic Truth Approximation by the ‘Hypothetico-*Probabilistic* Method’

## Abstract

Three related intuitions are explicated in this chapter. The first is the idea that there must be some kind of probabilistic version of the HD-method, a ‘Hypothetico-Probabilistic (HP-) method’, in terms of something like probabilistic consequences, instead of deductive consequences. According to the second intuition, the comparative application of this method should also be functional for some probabilistic kind of empirical progress, and according to the third intuition this should be functional for something like probabilistic truth approximation. In all three cases, the guiding idea is to explicate these intuitions by explicating the crucial notions as appropriate ‘concretizations’ of their basic or deductive analogues, being ‘idealizations’.

It turns out that the comparative version of the proposed HP-method amounts to a sophisticated likelihood ratio success (SLRS-) method applied to the cumulated evidence. This method turns out to be not only functional for probabilistic empirical progress but also for probabilistic truth approximation. The latter is based on a probabilistic threshold theorem constituting for this reason the analogue of the deductive success theorem.

This chapter is in fact a supplement to Chap. 5. Despite some terminological deviation, there is substantial partial overlap to enable independent reading.

## Keywords

Hypothetico-probabilistic method HP-method Probabilistic empirical progress Probabilistic truth approximation Quantitative truth approximation Sophisticated likelihood method Probabilistic success theorem Inference to the best theory## References

- Forster, M. (2006). Counterexamples to a likelihood theory of evidence.
*Minds and Machines, 16*(3), 319–338.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Kuipers, T. (2000).
*From instrumentalism to constructive realism. On some relations between confirmation, empirical progress, and truth approximation*,*Synthese Library 287*. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.Google Scholar - Kuipers, T. (2001).
*Structures in science. Heuristic patterns based on cognitive structures. An advanced textbook in neo-classical philosophy of science*,*Synthese Library 301*. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.Google Scholar - Kuipers, T. (2004). Inference to the best theory, rather than inference to the best explanation. Kinds of abduction and induction. In F. Stadler (Ed.),
*Induction and deduction in the sciences. Proceedings of the ESF-workshop induction and deduction in the sciences, Vienna, July, 2002*(pp. 25–51). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.Google Scholar - Kuipers, T. (2006). Inductive aspects of confirmation, information, and content. In R. E. Auxier & L. E. Hahn (Eds.),
*The philosophy of Jaakko Hintikka*,*The Library of Living Philosophers*(pp. 855–883). Chicago/La Salle: Open Courts.Google Scholar - Kuipers, T. (2007a). The hypothetico-probabilistic (HP-) method as a concretization of the HD-method. In M. Sintonen, S. Pihlström, & P. Raatikainen (Eds.),
*Festschrift in honor of Ilkka Niiniluoto*(pp. 179–307). London: King’s College.Google Scholar - Kuipers, T. (2007b). Introduction. Explication in philosophy of science. In T. Kuipers (Ed.),
*General philosophy of science: Focal issues. Handbook of the philosophy of science*(Vol. 1, pp. vii–xxiii). Amsterdam: Elsevier.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Kuipers, T. (2007c). Empirical and conceptual idealization and concretization. The case of truth approximation. In J. Brzezinski et al. (Eds.),
*The courage of doing philosophy. Essays presented to Leszek Nowak*(pp. 75–101). Amsterdam: Rodopi.Google Scholar - Kuipers, T. (2007d). Laws, theories and research programmes. In T. Kuipers (Ed.),
*General philosophy of science: Focal issues. Handbook of the philosophy of science*(Vol. 1, pp. 1–95). Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar - Kuipers, T. (2009). Empirical progress and truth approximation by the ‘Hypothetico-Probabilistic Method.
*Erkenntnis, 70*, 313–330.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Niiniluoto, I. (1987).
*Truthlikeness*,*Synthese Library 185*. Dordrecht: Reidel.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Niiniluoto, I., & Tuomela, R. (1973).
*Theoretical concepts and hypothetico-inductive inference*,*Synthese Library*(Vol. 53). Dordrecht: Reidel.CrossRefGoogle Scholar