more from Peter Lipton

Single Idea 16857

[catalogued under 14. Science / A. Basis of Science / 4. Prediction]

Full Idea

Accommodations are often worth less than predictions, because only they have to face the possibility that the best explanation of the fit between the theory and data is that the theoretical system was fudged.

Gist of Idea

Predictions are best for finding explanations, because mere accommodations can be fudged


Peter Lipton (Inference to the Best Explanation (2nd) [2004], 11 'Circularity')

Book Reference

Lipton,Peter: 'Inference to the Best Explanation (2nd ed)' [Routledge 2004], p.184

A Reaction

Lipton illuminatingly explores the discovery by Semmelweiss of the cause of childbed fever. He predicted various explanations, and tested them out in a hospital. It clicks when the prediction occurs.

Related Ideas

Idea 17403 The periodic table suggests accommodation to facts rates above prediction [Scerri]

Idea 17405 If a theory can be fudged, so can observations [Scerri]