A Quantitative Estimation of the Testability of a Theory

  • K. B. Madsen


This paper discusses the various interpretations of testability as a criterion for distinguishing between scientific theories and other theories. A method for a quantitative estimation of the testability of scientific theories is introduced. This method is called the hypotheses quotient (HQ). The procedure for calculation of the HQ is presented and discussed, and the method is demonstrated by detailed examples: analyses of Freud’s topographical theory and his theory of anxiety. In connection with the analyses of Freud’s theories, some concepts are introduced from the author’s comparative metatheory, which is called systematology.


Graphic Model Scientific Theory Theoretical Hypothesis Empirical Variable Logical Empiricist 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. B. Madsen
    • 1
  1. 1.Royal Danish School of Educational StudiesCopenhagen N. V.Denmark

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