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::: center home >> events >> lunchtime >> 2005-06 >> abstracts

Tuesday, 31 January 2006
Unification and Evidence
Malcolm Forster, Dept. of Philosophy, U. Wisconsin-Madison
12:05 pm,
817R Cathedral of Learning

Abstract: There has been much discussion in the literature about the connection between unification and explanation, but less has been said about the connection between unification and evidence.  I will discuss a special kind of unification that increases the predictive content of theories and models (Friedman 1981, 1983).  This connects with many problems in the philosophy of science, such as Cartwright's skepticism about the existence of component causes, the importance of the variety of evidence in confirmation, instrumentalism versus realism, falsificationism, Bayesianism, inference to the best explanation, predictivism, prediction versus accommodation, as well as the role of non-empirical virtues in confirmation.

Revised 3/6/08 - Copyright 2006