Likeness to Truth (The Western Ontario Series in Philosophy of Science 30)
By: Graham Oddie (author)Hardback
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The concept of likeness to truth, like that of truth itself, is fundamental to a realist conception of inquiry. To demonstrate this we need only make two rather modest aim of an inquiry, as an inquiry, is realist assumptions: the truth doctrine (that the the truth of some matter) and the progress doctrine (that one false theory may realise this aim better than another). Together these yield the conclusion that a false theory may be more truthlike, or closer to the truth, than another. It is the aim of this book to give a rigorous philosophical analysis of the concept of likeness to truth, and to examine the consequences, some of them no doubt surprising to those who have been unduly impressed by the (admittedly important) true/false dichotomy. Truthlikeness is not only a requirement of a particular philosophical outlook, it is as deeply embedded in common sense as the concept of truth. Everyone seems to be capable of grading various propositions, in different (hypothetical) situations, according to their closeness to the truth in those situations. And (if my experience is anything to go by) there is remarkable unanimity on these pretheoretical judge- ments.
This is not proof that there is a single coherent concept underlying these judgements. The whole point of engaging in philosophical analysis is to make this claim plausible.
One: Truth and Closeness to Truth.- 1.1 The problem of truthlikeness.- 1.2 Explications and intuitions.- 1.3 Some adequacy conditions.- Notes.- Two: Popper on Truthlikeness.- 2.1 Truthlikeness in Popper's methodology.- 2.2 Truthlikeness by truth content and falsity content.- 2.3 Measuring truth content and falsity content.- Notes.- Three: Distance in Logical Space.- 3.1 Conceptual frameworks and possible worlds.- 3.2 Distance between propositions.- 3.3 Measuring the symmetric difference.- 3.4 Truthlikeness for a propositional framework.- 3.5 Truthlikeness by similarity spheres.- Notes.- Four: Truthlikeness by Distributive Normal Forms.- 4.1 Languages and pictures.- 4.2 Worlds and interpretations.- 4.3 Constituents in a first-order language.- 4.4 The symmetric difference on constituents.- 4.5 The propositional measure extended.- Notes.- Five: Beyond First-Order Truthlikeness.- 5.1 Questions, answers, and propositional distance again.- 5.2 Infinitely deep theories and ultimate questions.- 5.3 Higher-order frameworks.- 5.4 Verisimilitude and legisimilitude.- Notes.- Six: Truthlikeness and Translation.- 6.1 Invariance under translation.- 6.2 The identity of states of affairs.- 6.3 Coactualisation and structure.- 6.4 Two criticisms of the structure argument.- 6.5 Numerical accuracy, confirmation and disconfirmation.- 6.6 Privileged properties.- Notes.- Seven: Truthlikeness, Content, and Utility.- 7.1 The content condition.- 7.2 The attractions of brute strength.- 7.3 Epistemic utilities.- 7.4 Accuracy and action: a conjecture.- Notes.- 8.1 First-order languages and their interpretations.- 8.2 Higher-order languages.- 8.3 Examples J and K formalized.- 8.4 First-order normal forms.- 8.5 Permutative normal forms.- 8.6 The distance between constituents.- Notes.- References.
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- ID: 9789027722386
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