more from Peter Lipton

Single Idea 16827

[catalogued under 14. Science / B. Scientific Theories / 1. Scientific Theory]

Full Idea

The cost of the hypothetico-deductive method …is that we are left in the dark about the source of the hypotheses themselves.

Gist of Idea

If we make a hypothesis about data, then a deduction, where does the hypothesis come from?


Peter Lipton (Inference to the Best Explanation (2nd) [2004], 05 'Explanation')

Book Reference

Lipton,Peter: 'Inference to the Best Explanation (2nd ed)' [Routledge 2004], p.83

A Reaction

How do we distinguish a wild hypothesis from a plausible one? It can only be from patterns in the data, rather than mere accumulations of data. If water causes cholera, or smoking causes cancer, the hypothesis guides the data search.