Basic and Refined Nomic Truth Approximation by Evidence-Guided Belief Set Revision

  • Theo A. F. Kuipers
Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 399)


Straightforward theory revision, taking into account as effectively as possible the established nomic possibilities and, on their basis induced empirical laws, is conducive for nomic truth approximation. The question this paper asks is: is it possible to reconstruct the relevant theory revision steps, on the basis of incoming evidence, in the terms of so-called belief revision and, more specifically, in the terms of belief set revision, also called the AGM-approach? Assumin g exclusion theories, a positive answer will be given in two rounds, first for the case in which the initial theory is compatible with the established empirical laws, then for the case in which it is incompatible with at least one such a law.


Theory revision Belief revision AGM-revision Nomic truth approximation Expansion Contraction Revision Structurelikeness 


  1. Alchourrón, C., Gärdenfors, P., & Makinson, D. (1985). On the logic of theory revision: partial meet contraction and revision functions. Journal of Symbol Logic, 50(2), 510–530.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Cevolani, G., & Calandra, F. (2009). Approaching the truth via belief change in propositional languages. In M. Suárez, M. Dorato, & M. Rèdei (Eds.), Launch of the European philosophy of science association, EPSA Epistemology and Methodology of Science (Vol. 1, pp. 47–62). Dordrecht: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Grove, A. (1988). Two modellings for theory change. Journal of Philosophical Logic, 17, 157–170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Hansson, S. O. (1999). A textbook of belief dynamics. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 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
  6. Niiniluoto, I. (1999). Belief revision and truthlikeness. In S. Halldén, B. Hansson, W. Rabinowicz, & N-E. Sahlin (Ed.), Spinning ideas, Electronic essays dedicated to Peter Gärdenfors on His Fiftieth Birthday.
  7. Rabinowicz, W. (1995). Global belief revision based on similarities between possible worlds. In S. O. Hansson, & W. Rabinowicz (Ed.), Logic for a change. Essays dedicated to Sten Lindström on the occasion of his fiftieth birthday (pp. 80–105). Uppsala Prints and Preprints in Philosophy 1995–1999. Uppsala: Department of Philosophy, Uppsala University.Google Scholar
  8. Kuipers, T. (2011). Basic and refined nomic truth approximation by evidence-guided belief revision in AGMterms. Erkenntnis, 75(2), 223–236.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Zwart, S. (2001). Refined verisimilitude, Synthese Library 307. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Theo A. F. Kuipers
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Theoretical PhilosophyUniversity of GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations