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Philosophy of Science MattersThe Philosophy of Peter Achinstein$
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Gregory J. Morgan

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199738625

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199738625.001.0001

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The Objective Epistemic Probabilist and the Severe Tester

The Objective Epistemic Probabilist and the Severe Tester

(p.135) 11 The Objective Epistemic Probabilist and the Severe Tester
Philosophy of Science Matters

Deborah G. Mayo

Oxford University Press

While this chapter and Achinstein agree that an account of evidence should be objective, not subjective, and empirical, not a priori, Achinstein has argued that we may reach conflicting assessments of evidence. There are cases where little has been done to rule out threats of error to H—as severity requires—that Achinstein construes as good evidence for H. Conversely, data x may fail to count as evidence for H, according to Achinstein's epistemic probabilist, even where H has passed a severe test by dint of x. We may call this the “highly probed vs. highly probable” conflict. This chapter argues, based on Achinstein's most recent installment to this debate, that the severity account is more in sync with the Achinstein's goals and the special features of his brand of Bayesianism. This chapter also considers how Achinstein's defense of Mill's account of induction gives further grounds for viewing his objective epistemologist as a severe tester.

Keywords:   objective epistemic probabilist, Fallacy of Probabilistic Instantiation, severe test, error probability, straight rule

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