• Mario Bunge
Part of the Studies in the Foundations Methodology and Philosophy of Science book series (FOUNDATION, volume 3/2)


Forecasts are answers to questions of the form ‘What will happen to x if p is the case ?’, ‘When will x happen if p obtains ?’, and the like. In science such answers are called predictions and are contrived with the help of theories and data: scientific prediction is, in effect, an application of scientific theory. Prediction enters our picture of science on three counts: (i) it anticipates fresh knowledge and therefore (ii) it is a test of theory and (iii) a guide to action. In this chapter we shall be concerned with the purely cognitive function of prediction, i.e. with foresight. The methodological aspect of prediction (its test function) will concern us in Ch. 15, and the practical side (planning) in the next chapter.


Projective Performance Trend Line Empirical Generalization Projective Power Alternate Problem 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bunge, M.: Causality, 2nd ed., Ch. 12. Cleveland and New York: Meridian Books 1963.Google Scholar
  2. Dyke, V. van: Political science: a philosophical analysis, Ch. 4. Stanford: Stanford University Press 1960.Google Scholar
  3. Grünbaum, A.: Philosophical problems of space and time, Ch. 9. New York:Knopf 1963.Google Scholar
  4. Hanson, N. R.: On the symmetry between explanation and prediction. Phil. Rev. 68, 349 (1959).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Hanson, N. R.: Mere predictability. In: H. E. Kyburg Jr., and E. Nagel (Eds.), Induction: some current issues. Middleton, Conn.: Wesleyan University Press 1963.Google Scholar
  6. Jevons, W. S.: The principles of science (1874), Ch. XXIV. New York: Dover 1958.Google Scholar
  7. Körner, S. (Ed.): Observation and interpretation. London: Butterworths Sci. Publications 1957; esp. W. B. Gallie, The limits of prediction and G. Ryle, Predicting and inferring.Google Scholar
  8. Meehl, P. E.: Clinical vs. statistical prediction. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press 1954.Google Scholar
  9. Popper, K. R.: The poverty of historicism, 2nd ed., esp. Sec. 28. London: Rout-ledge &Kegan Paul 1960.Google Scholar
  10. Popper, K. R.: Conjectures and refutations, Ch. 16 on prediction and prophecy in the social sciences. New York: Basic Books 1963.Google Scholar
  11. Reichenbach, H.: The rise of scientific philosophy, Ch. 14. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press 1951.Google Scholar
  12. Reichenbach, H.: Experience and prediction (1938), Sec. 38. Chicago: University of Chicago Press 1961.Google Scholar
  13. Rescher, N.: On prediction and explanation. Brit. J. Phil. Sci. 8, 281 (1958).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Scheffler, I.: Explanation, prediction and abstraction. Brit. J. Phil. Sci. 7, 293 (1957).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Scriven, M.: Explanation and prediction in evolutionary theory. Science, 130, 477 (1959).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Scriven, M.: Explanations, predictions and laws. In: H. Feigl and G. Maxwell (Eds.), Minnesota studies in the philosophy of science, Vol. 3. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press 1962.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin · Heidelberg 1967

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mario Bunge
    • 1
  1. 1.McGill UniversityMontrealCanada

Personalised recommendations