Intersubjective corroboration

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

How are we to understand the use of probability in corroboration functions? Popper says logically, but does not show we could have access to, or even calculate, probability values in a logical sense. This makes the logical interpretation untenable, as Ramsey and van Fraassen have argued. If corroboration functions only make sense when the probabilities employed therein are subjective, however, then what counts as impressive evidence for a theory might be a matter of convention, or even whim. So isn’t so-called ‘corroboration’ just a matter of psychology? In this paper, I argue that we can go some way towards addressing this objection by adopting an intersubjective interpretation, of the form advocated by Gillies, with respect to corroboration. I show why intersubjective probabilities are preferable to subjective ones when it comes to decision making in science: why group decisions are liable to be superior to individual ones, given a number of plausible conditions. I then argue that intersubjective corroboration is preferable to intersubjective confirmation of a Bayesian variety, because there is greater opportunity for principled agreement concerning the factors involved in the former.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)124-132
Number of pages9
JournalStudies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A
Volume39
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2008
Externally publishedYes

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Keywords

  • Bayesianism
  • Confirmation
  • Corroboration
  • Formal epistemology
  • Intersubjective probability
  • Karl Popper

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