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Phil12_S11_Observation&amp;categories(4-12-2011)

# Phil12_S11_Observation&amp;categories(4-12-2011) -...

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Falsification, Confirmation and Fallibility (cont.); Observation and categories Phil 12: Logic and Decision Making Spring 2011 UC San Diego 4/12/2011 Tuesday, April 12, 2011

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Announcements My office hours today only 1-2pm Remember to register iclickers - http://www.iclicker.com/registration 2 Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Review: Falsification Argument form for falsifying hypotheses: If the hypothesis is true AND all auxiliary hypotheses needed to make the prediction are true AND the experimental setup is adequate, then the prediction will be true. The prediction is not true. Either the hypothesis is false, or an auxiliary hypothesis is false, or the experimental setup is not adequate. To the degree (and only to the degree) that we are sure that no auxiliary hypothesis is false and that the experimental setup is adequate, we can infer that the hypothesis is false. Tuesday, April 12, 2011

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The challenge of confirmation If the hypothesis is true, then the prediction is true. The prediction is true. The hypothesis is true. This is of the form affirming the consequent , and is invalid We can also see what is intuitively wrong with it - Make up a theory (a really bad one) from which you predict that sunlight feels warm. - Check the prediction. Sure enough, it is true - That doesn’t make your bad theory true 4 Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Confirming with unlikely predictions This argument is valid, but is it sound? - we have to be sure that the first premise is true - Problem: typically there will be alternative hypotheses (major or slight variants of the one under consideration) that make the same prediction If the hypothesis were not true, then the prediction would not be true. The prediction is true. The hypothesis is true. 5 Tuesday, April 12, 2011

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Harvey’s Alternative Hypothesis Rejecting Galen’s hypothesis, Harvey proposed that: - there is only one kind of blood - this blood circulates out from the heart in the arteries and returns to the heart in the veins 6 Tuesday, April 12, 2011
How to secure positive evidence? Harvey could not see the connecting capillaries What kind of prediction could he make on the basis of his hypothesis that would be specific to it (i.e., not expected on other grounds)?

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